Practitioners of reparative therapy suffered another defeat today as Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a ban on the discredited practice into law. The new law, passed this week by the state Senate, makes it illegal for licensed therapists, physicians and counselors to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of minors.
The news comes a week after Connecticut passed a similar ban, joining California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and the District of Columbia have similar laws on the books. (Several other cities and municipalities also ban the therapy, which has been discredited by almost every major medical group.)
"Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation to protect LGBTQ youth," said State Senator David Parks (D-Las Vegas), who sponsored SB 201.
"Banning conversion therapy makes Nevada a safer place for children who are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. This bill is a major step forward in building a more equal and inclusive state."
Proponents of conversion therapy claim such bans violate their religious freedom. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to California’s ban by Reverend Donald Welch, a minister and family therapist.
HRC's Chad Griffin thanks Governor Sandoval and the Legislature for passing "crucially important protections for the state’s LGBTQ youth."