Proposed change to conversion therapy law concerns LGBTQ+ advocates
SALT LAKE CITY– A proposed bill would change the definition of conversion therapy for doctors and practitioners in Utah. But some equality groups say it would open the door for the practice to be legal again.
A bill to to ban conversion therapy—practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity—was passed during in Jan. 2020.
According to the text of House Bill 0228 (HB0228) it would: define terms, prohibit certain health care professionals from providing conversion therapy to a minor, clarify that verbal or written communication by itself does not fall within the definition of conversion therapy, and makes technical and conforming changes.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Peterson, R- North Logan said his proposed wording change to a line in the current law still equates to a ban on conversion therapy for minors.
However, that’s the part that Equality Utah’s Executive Director, Troy Williams said would legalize it and noted physical techniques are not used anymore.
“What they do is they employ talk therapy, as we call it the ‘pray the gay away’ technique. And they give the clients a bunch of techniques and mantras and ideas that simply don’t work,” said Williams.
Williams said this legislation protects therapists that use conversion techniques and will “harm the mental health of gay and transgender Utahns.”
In a statement, Peterson said therapists are unclear on when they can treat minors due to the language of the current law. He argued that this strikes the right balance between compassion and free speech.
“We have some lawmakers who still don’t believe that LGBTQ youth have a right to exist…”
- So-called conversion therapy banned in Utah
- Bills focused on transgender youth get ok from Senate committee, will now go to full chamber
- Lawmaker opens bill to codify marriage equality in Utah
Today’s Top Stories
- Herd of elk pushed away from I-80 and moved back into mountains
- Jordan High student killed in Sandy crosswalk by school bus
- Utah Senate passes transgender-related surgery ban for minors
- Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols
- Three teens in custody after fight, shooting at Taylorsville High
- School choice bill is “limiting” public schools, UEA president says
- Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death
- SLC restaurant “Manoli’s” nominated for James Beard Award
- Bystander finds dead body in Salt Lake foothills above Beck Street
- Utah leading a lawsuit against new ESG rule affecting 401(k) plans