Hawaii to ban ‘cruel’ gay conversion therapy
Hawaii has become the latest state to bring forward plans to ban gay conversion therapy.
Lawmakers on the islands have introduced a bill that supporters say will protect LGBT teens from serious harm.
The legislation contains a number of proposals – including making it illegal for teachers or counsellors to try and change someone’s sexual orientation and bans advertising that promotes the same.
Della Au Belatti, a Democratic member of the House, who introduced the bill, said: “These children, these teenagers are quite vulnerable.”
“This is an issue because we don’t want them to be subject to further pressure and stigmatisation during their formative years in school.”
She added that the bill aligned with widespread medical opinion that conversion therapy was harmful to teens.
Opponents have said parents should have the right to decide if they want to seek treatment for their children.
Republican representative, Bob McDermott, said: What if I want to steer my kids to the rich life of being a hetrosexual, and as a parent, I don’t have the right.”
Hawaii is the fifth state to bring in legislation behind California, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, which ban it for minors.
In the UK, meanwhile, the Prime Minister told PinkNews he plans to address “profoundly wrong” gay cure therapies during an interview before last year’s general election.
Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Maria Miller, has also spoken out in favour of ending the practice.