Maryland bans conversion therapy for minors

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a bill to prohibit health professionals from practicing "gay conversion therapy" on minors, as a growing number of states and municipalities are banning the practice.

The Republican governor signed the bill Tuesday.

Simonaire, a Republican, spoke on the House floor last month about the pain she experienced when her parents looked into the therapy for her when she told them she was bisexual. Her father, state Sen. Bryan Simonaire, voted against the measure days before she voted for the ban.

Maryland Del. Meagan Simonaire poses in the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation to ban "gay conversion therapy" for minors. AP Photo/Brian Witte.

Maryland is the 11th state to enact legislation against the practice of trying to alter a person's sexual orientation through psychological intervention. Supporters of the ban note the therapy is widely discredited by medical and mental health associations. The law will classify the practice as unprofessional conduct.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington also have laws on the books, as well as the District of Columbia. New Hampshire and Hawaii recently passed similar measures that have gone to the governor in those states.

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The Gayly. May 15, 2018. 4:35 p.m. CST.