Arizona county bans paid gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors
A county in Arizona has banned gay “conversion” therapy carried out on minors, but only if it’s being paid for.
The Pima County Board in Tucson voted on the policy on Tuesday.
It will stop any person practising “conversion therapy” on children in exchange for money.
This means that the therapy, which attempts to stop people from being LGBT, can still be practised if money is not being exchanged.
The policy states that it will restrict “sexual orientation change efforts to change behaviours sexual or gender identities or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings towards persons of the same sex.”
Anyone found guilty of taking money will be subject to a fine of $2,500.
Despite the step in the right direction, the policy has been criticised for its failure to tackle conversion therapy head on.
It means that religious practitioners and licensed therapists will still be able to carry out “gay cure” therapy, as long as they are not accepting money for the service.
More from PinkNews
Paul Stratton, a resident of the county, told the Associated Press that he had been subject to the type of therapy and it had done nothing but cause issues.
He said: “It did not work for me and caused more problems than it solved.
“If you want to love your child, love them, try to understand them, be affirmative but don’t put them through a voodoo kind of therapy that is just ineffective.”
Rhode Island is the latest state in the US to fully ban the homophobic therapy.
Despite being overwhelmingly condemned by the medical community, only ten states have enacted bans on gay cure therapy – Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico, plus the District of Columbia.
A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Bryan Christopher, a 47-year-old gay writer, told PinkNews about his personal experience with gay cure therapy.