Hawaii Takes Huge Step Against LGBT+ Conversion Therapy

On July 1, Hawaii will become the 12th state to implement a law that prohibits therapists from offering ‘conversion therapy’ to minors. 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights describes the outdated therapy as an extreme measure used by mental health professionals to stop people from being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Leading health professionals and associations in the US have deemed it “unnecessary, ineffective, and dangerous”, adding that it almost always leads to more harm than good. 

The new law, which will take effect July 1, prevents people from using conversion therapy to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

According to Indy100, bills to put an end to the practice of conversion therapy have been introduced since 2013, but few have passed. In a speech given at the Hawaii State Capitol Building, Hawaii governor David Ige, who fought in favor of the new law, stated, “The overwhelming scientific research has shown that conversion therapy is not effective and frequently has lasting harmful psychological impacts on minors. For our LGBTQ youth, it often results in feelings of isolation, depression, and hopelessness. It has absolutely no place on our lovely islands.”

Ige added, “Sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured. We accept you and love you just the way you are.”

H/T: Indy100, The Hill