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Hawaii governor signs law banning gay conversion therapy

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill into law on Friday banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured,” Ige said to LGBT youth during the bill signing. “We accept you and love you just the way you are.”

The law, passed by legislators last month, prevents anyone from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy practices.

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“The overwhelming scientific research has shown that conversion therapy is not effective and has frequently had lasting harmful psychological impact on minors,” the governor said. 

The practice can leave LGBT teenagers with feelings of isolation, depression and hopelessness, Ige said.

Conversion therapy has “absolutely has no place here in our lovely islands,” Ige said.

The law makes Hawaii the 12th state to pass a similar bill banning the practice.

A number of states have moved to ban conversion therapy in recent months, including Washington and California.