By Madeleine Grisanzio, Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
A bill banning conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth has reached the Virginia Senate after it passed the House with a 66-27 bi-partisan vote.
If House Bill 386 is signed into law, Virginia will be the 2oth state to prevent minors from undergoing this treatment.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam released a statement saying, “This is a dangerous practice that harms LGBTQ youth. There is no place for that here or anywhere.”
Northam is prepared to sign it if it reaches his desk.
Conversion therapy often involves talk therapy or more extreme measures such as electroshock therapy, aversion therapy, and role play. This treatment attempts to change the sexual orientation of homosexual individuals and has been linked to an increased risk for depression, drug use, and suicide.
The Va House votes to ban conversion therapy to minors. For seven years, I could never get this bill out of Subcommittee and today we voted out a strong bipartisan bill! pic.twitter.com/7DNdwesPUD
— Patrick Hope (@HopeforVirginia) February 3, 2020
Many medical and mental health organizations have discredited conversion therapy. LGBTQ advocacy groups have urged their state legislatures to take action to protect minors from any practices that may harm their physical or emotional well-being.