New state law bans conversion therapy

The state has signed into law new legislation that bans the use of conversion therapy to try to change the sexual orientation of young homosexuals.

The House of Representatives voted 141 to 8 last week to pass the bill and send it to the Senate for a vote, and on Wednesday evening the Senate voted 36-0 in favor of the bill.

According to several Connecticut news outlets, including the Hartford Courant, Gov. Dannel Malloy then immediately signed the bill into law.

Conversion therapy means “any practice or treatment administered to a person under 18 years of age that seeks to change the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, any effort to change gender expression or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward persons of the same gender.”

State Rep. Pam Staneski issued a press release last week expressing her support for the bill.

She, as well as other members of the Milford delegation — Reps. Charles Ferraro, Kim Rose and state Sen. Gayle Slossberg — are all listed as bill co-sponsors.

The bill, An Act Concerning the Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy, prohibits any licensed professional from engaging in conversion therapy with a person under the age of 18 in Connecticut.

During discussion on the Senate floor Wednesday, legislators asked a number of questions about the bill, including whether current malpractice laws would sufficiently protect youths from conversion therapy. But proponents argued the bill is necessary to protect people under the age of 18, who often are under the direction of adults responsible for their care.

One lawmaker equated the practice to bullying, which the state has taken a strong stand against.

Click here to read our earlier article about this bill.