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Bill Banning Sexual Orientation Therapy Scheduled For Hearing

This post was written by Rebecca Faust.

State Representative Marko Liias introduced a bill today banning therapy for minors to help them change their sexual orientation or associated behavior.

House Bill 2451would make it unprofessional conduct, subject to disciplinary sanctions, for a mental health therapist to provide therapy to change sexual orientation or gender expression to anyone under eighteen years old, regardless of whether the patient or the patient’s parents desire or agree to the therapy.

In fact, the prohibition would not only apply to mental health therapists, but to a number of other professions as well, including sex offender treatment providers, hypnotherapists, East Asian medicine practitioners, and others.

It would be legal to provide acceptance, support, “identity exploration and development,” and “sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices” as long as these interventions “do not seek to change sexual orientation.”

The bill has already been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee on Wednesday, January 22nd, at 8:00 a.m.

You can  call the legislative hotline at 1-800-563-6000 to send a message to your representatives, letting them know how you feel about this bill. If you live within driving distance of Olympia, you may wish to attend the public hearing as well. If you do so, be sure to sign in so that your position on the bill will be noted.

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