Nevada bans 'ex-gay' therapy to minors

Sat. May 20, 2017 9:16 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Carson City, NV - Nevada has joined a growing list of states prohibiting therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.

Such therapies go by names such as "conversion therapy," "reparative therapy" or "ex-gay therapy."

Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law on Wednesday. The legislation was sponsored by Senator David Parks, a Democrat from Las Vegas.

"Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation to protect LGBTQ youth," Parks said in a statement.

"Banning conversion therapy makes Nevada a safer place for children who are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. This bill is a major step forward in building a more equal and inclusive state."

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) also applauded passage of the bill.

"Today, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and elected officials have prioritized the safety, health, and well-being of LGBTQ Nevadans by putting an end to the discredited practice of so-called 'conversion therapy.' The American Psychological Association has linked conversion therapy to depression, substance abuse and even suicide – risks that are particularly acute for youth. Nevada knows that all of our children are born perfect," said NCLR Born Perfect Campaign Director Carolyn Reyes in a statement.

Four years ago, New Jersey became the second state after California to enact such a law. Illinois, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia have passed similar bans, while New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last year issued an executive order that protects youth from such therapies. Several cities, including Tampa, Florida and Columbus, Ohio, have recently enacted similar measures.

(Related: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes action to prevent "ex-gay" therapy on minors.)

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine