AP

Push to ban LGBT conversion therapy stalls out in Utah

Mar 6, 2019, 6:09 PM
Rep. Craig Hall speaks to the Utah House Judiciary Committee in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 5,...
Rep. Craig Hall speaks to the Utah House Judiciary Committee in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Hall, R-West Valley City, watched his colleagues dismantle his bill to end conversion therapy and replace it with an alternative that he says would do nothing to stop the widely-discredited practice. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
(Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The fight to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in conservative Utah is over for the year after the proposal was gutted by lawmakers, supporters said Wednesday.

A prominent activist blasted Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s support for the changes that would have allowed therapists to talk about changing sexual orientation as long as they didn’t promise to reverse it.

Troy Williams with Equality Utah said that language would do nothing to address practices associated with increased suicide risk, and Herbert’s support shows he’s not interested in protecting LGBTQ youth.

“Governor Herbert turned his back on LGBT youth, turned his back on leading experts and sided with conversion therapists,” said Williams, who also resigned his spot on a gubernatorial suicide-prevention task force.

Herbert responded in a letter that he wants to reduce an alarming spike in youth suicide in Utah, but also wants to “protect the rights of parents in counseling with their children in these sensitive matters.”

The sponsor of the original proposal, Republican Rep. Craig Hall, said he couldn’t see a path forward for the original bill he proposed.

Williams, meanwhile, said it often takes years to pass bills on big issues, and he plans to try again next year.

The bill had been gaining momentum after the influential Mormon church announced it would not oppose the measure, which exempted religious leaders. Conversion therapy has been banned in 15 other states and the District of Columbia.

The changes to the Utah bill came after a backlash from conservative groups and some therapists who said it could have a “chilling effect,” on how they talk about sexuality with young clients.

Republican Rep. Karianne Lisonbee sponsored the changes that would have banned outdated techniques such as electroshock therapy and barred therapists from promising a “complete and permanent reversal” of sexual orientation. She argued it was a clearer prohibition, but supporters of the original measure said it would allow practices harmful to LGBT youth and didn’t ban any therapy associated with gender identity.

Conversion therapy has a history in Utah, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders once taught that homosexuality could be “cured,” according to religion scholars.

The faith has since condemned conversion therapy and taken a more welcoming stance to LGBT people, though it remains opposed to marriage and sexual relations between people of the same gender.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

The White House to ask for less money to fund border wall...
ACACIA CORONADO and GISELA SALOMON Associated Press

Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Dave and Dujanovic discuss the causes of immigration and are joined by U of U political science professor. Listen live at 10:05 EAGLE PASS, Texas (AP) — It cost Nerio two months and everything he had to get from Venezuela to the U.S., traveling mainly by foot and watching as exhausted fellow migrants were assaulted […]
1 day ago
In Iran, protests have led to violent clashes between citizens and security forces. Protesters pict...
The Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in more than a dozen cities.
4 days ago
U.S. Capitol pictured. The House just voted on an election law...
MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

House passes election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

The bill, which is similar to bipartisan legislation moving through the Senate, would overhaul an arcane 1800s-era statute known as the Electoral Count Act
5 days ago
Trump pictured. A lawsuit against Trump was just filed in new york...
Associated Press

NY attorney general sues Donald Trump and his company

Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit is the culmination of the Democrat's three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization.
6 days ago
el helicoide caracas...
RODRIQUE NGOWI, GISELA SALOMON and CLAUDIA TORRENS Associated Press

Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The chief executive of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services was wrapping up work when she looked outside to see 48 strangers at her office with luggage, backpacks and red folders that included brochures for her organization. The Venezuelan migrants who were flown to the wealthy Massachusetts island from San Antonio on Wednesday […]
8 days ago
school classrooms...
Collin Binkley Associated Press

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

WASHINGTON (AP) — Math and reading scores for America’s 9-year-olds fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new federal study — offering an early glimpse of the sheer magnitude of the learning setbacks dealt to the nation’s children. Reading scores saw their largest decrease in 30 years, while math […]
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Push to ban LGBT conversion therapy stalls out in Utah