Oklahoma’s state House of Representatives has advanced a bill that would ban so-called “conversion therapy,” a widely rejected practice that seeks to change the sexuality of LGBTQ individuals, for minors.
CNN reported Thursday that the “Youth Mental Health Protection Act” moved past committee with bipartisan support and will soon move to the full legislature for a vote.
State Rep. Jason Dunnington (D), the bill’s sponsor, tweeted that “with bipartisan support we passed a bill out of committee to protect LGBTQ youth.”
When I first ran for office six years ago I made a commitment to be a voice for all Oklahomans. Today, with bipartisan support we passed a bill out of committee to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of Conversion Therapy. We are better together. #OneOklahoma #OneStepAtaTime
— Rep Jason Dunnington (@jdunnington) February 13, 2020
Efforts to ban conversion therapy in Oklahoma come just weeks after Utah became the 19th state to declare the practice illegal.
“I have learned much through this process. The stories of youth who have endured these so-called therapies are heart rending, and I’m grateful that we have found a way forward that will ban conversion therapy forever in our state,” said Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert (R) last year upon proposing a bill to make the practice illegal. “I’m grateful to the many stakeholders who came to the table in good faith, with never ending patience. I’m also grateful to the dedicated board members at DOPL for their work that enabled us to come together to craft this rule.”