May 10, 2017

Gerratana Leads Final Passage of Bill to Ban “Conversion Therapy” in Connecticut

Conversion therapy is a discredited, dangerous practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation

Senator Terry Gerratana today brought a bill to the floor of the Senate that would prohibit the practice of “conversion therapy” in Connecticut. House Bill 6695 received unanimous, bipartisan support in the state Senate today and an overwhelming vote of 141-8 in the House of Representatives last week. The bill was immediately transmitted to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, who signed the bill into law. The ban on conversion takes effect immediately.

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice, which has been rejected by the American Medical Association and has no place in Connecticut,” said Senator Gerratana, Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee. “LGBTQ youth don’t need to be changed or ‘fixed,’ they don’t need coercive therapy trying to make them be something they are not, they need our acceptance and support. Today’s vote is something we can all be proud of. It speaks to the values of our state and our commitment to creating a positive, accepting community for all our children.”

House Bill 6695 prohibits health care providers or anyone “conducting trade or commerce” in Connecticut from practicing or administering “conversion therapy,” which is generally defined as any practice or treatment that seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill specifies certain types of counseling that are not considered conversion therapy, such as counseling that is intended to assist a person undergoing gender transition.

Under the bill, if any health care provider in Connecticut did engage in conversion therapy, it would be considered unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action. If anyone practiced conversion therapy while conducting trade or commerce, it would be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice. The bill also prohibits public funds from being spent on conversion therapy or any related actions.