The Twelfth State To Ban Conversion Therapy
Hawaii just became the 12th state to ban conversion therapy!
This past Friday, Hawaii’s lawmakers gave the go for SB 270 to be sent to Democratic Governor David Ige, who is expected to sign it into law.
The bill, once fully signed and passed, will block any efforts by religious officials, practicing psychologists, or even laymen to “engage in or attempt to engage in sexual orientation change efforts on a person under eight years of age.”
The bill was first introduced in Hawaii’s Senate floor and very easily passed there with a landslide vote of 24 to 1. The only person who voted against the bill was Democratic Senator Mike Gabbard who is the head of the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values. According to Pink News, Gabbard has acted against LGBTQ issues before as he tried to ban sam-sex marriage in the state once.
Then, the bill passed Hawaii’s House of Representatives earlier this month. That time, the bill had two votes against it. Those votes came from Republican lawmakers Gene Ward and Bob McDermott.
Many are celebrating the almost assured passing of the bill. One such person is lawmaker Michael Golojuch who is the chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s LGBT Caucus.
“This has been a priority of the caucus for years,” said Michael Golojuch to Hawaii News Now. “It ensures that LGBTQ youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals.”
In addition, the HRC’s JoDee Winterhof celebrated with Hawaii and shard that he thinks conversion therapy is “nothing short of child abuse with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth.”
Hawaii now joins 11 other states, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington and Maryland, in their ban of conversion therapy. In addition, many other countries like the UK, Canada, and some sections of Australia have also banned the practice.