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Washington state outlaws gay conversion therapy for minors

Washington state outlaws gay conversion therapy for minors
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The governor of Washington state signed a bill on Wednesday to ban the use of gay conversion therapy on minors.

Gov. Jay Inslee (D) criticized the practice of trying to alter someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, KIRO 7 News reported.

“We don’t let parents or doctors make decisions to let broken legs be treated in something that ends up losing both your limbs,” Inslee said.

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“It's unprofessional, it's damaging, it is not scientifically credible and it violates not only our values, but the mental health of kids with decades of depression ahead of them if they are told to hate themselves,” he said.

Danny Cords, a survivor of conversion therapy, described the treatment to KIRO 7, likening it to torture.

“Snapping a rubber band on my wrist, putting a rock in my shoe so I could always be thinking of Christ and not everything else that was going on in my brain because of biology,” Cords said.

“It's a shame that we've gone this far in 2018 and haven’t outlawed this therapy nationally,” Cords added.

The bill, passed earlier this month by the state's lawmakers, prohibits licensed therapists from performing conversion therapy on anyone under 18, deeming it “unprofessional conduct.”

Health care providers could face fines, suspension or revocation of their professional licenses.

The state House also added language covering unlicensed counselors to the bill, prohibiting anyone operating with a religious organization, religious denomination or church from performing conversion therapy.