Maryland state delegate says lawmaker father wanted her to undergo conversion therapy

A Maryland state delegate said her father, who is a state senator, tried to get her to go through gay conversion therapy.

Delegate Meagan Simonaire (R) made the comments when she spoke Wednesday in support of a ban on conversion therapy, the Capital Gazette in Maryland reported.

In her speech, she began by saying she was sharing a girl's story before acknowledging at the end that it was her own.


She said in her speech that when her family learned about her sexual orientation, they were "heartbroken" and "disgusted."

“They weren’t ever hateful, but were fully convinced that she was living in sin and desperately wanted to get her the help she needed,” Simonaire, who is the daughter of state Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R), said on the floor.

“While she never actually had to endure conversion therapy, the pain of having her good-intentioned parents convinced of its ability to ‘fix her’ was enough to cause significant pain, self-loathing and deep depression. There were times where she seemingly couldn’t stop the tears from falling.”

Her father said after the speech he has always taught his children to be "free thinkers."

"She is an adult and thinks about every vote, which I respect,” he said, according to the Gazette.

The House of Delegates passed the bill banning conversion therapy in a 95-27 vote. The bill, which also passed the Senate last week, will now go to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Under the bill, licensed medical professionals are banned from carrying out conversion therapy. State funds cannot be used for support or referral of conversion therapy.

Families can still use the therapy, but not with licensed workers, according to the bill.

Meagan Simonaire said during her speech that her parents wanted the best for her but repeated that "what is not broken cannot be fixed."

Last month, the governor of Washington signed a bill to ban the use of gay conversion therapy on minors.