Governor Dannel Mulloy has signed into law a bill banning conversion therapy on minors in Connecticut. Connecticut becomes the latest state to do so, joining California, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington DC. The bill had previously passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 141-8, and then passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday. Governor Malloy signed it the same day. The bill considers conversion therapy an unfair trade practice and provides disciplinary steps for licensing boards to take. The bill does not apply to members of the clergy.
Governor Malloy said, “At a time when we see harassment increasing against anyone perceived as being different, at a time when we see the rights of our friends and neighbors being threatened by the national government, at a time when we see LGBTQ youth turning to suicide at record rates, to remain silent is to be complicit...”
Governor Malloy also said, “This legislation is about protecting children and teens who have been forced to undergo this so-called therapy, despite the fact that it is not supported by any medical evidence and its only proven results have been harmful, destructive, and lasting. I would like to thank the overwhelming majority of bipartisan lawmakers who voted to adopt this legislation – particularly Representative Jeff Currey and Senator Beth Bye for their unwavering dedication to enacting this law.”
One of the physicians in the legislature, Rep. William Petit, R-Plainville, an endocrinologist who has advised a gender identity clinic, said during the House debate that sexual orientation and gender identity are determined by genetics and “cannot be converted.”
The American Counseling Association appreciates the help of its members in Connecticut, who promptly responded to our action alert emails and contacted their representatives in Hartford with over 200 messages.