CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – A new bill introduced in the Senate would ban conversion therapy in West Virginia.
Senate Bill 359 or known as “Youth Mental Health Protection Act” would ban conversion therapy in the State of West Virginia. Conversion Therapy is a process that tries to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Efforts made include behavior change, gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.
Every major medical and mental organization has condemned conversion therapy because research shows that conversion therapy poes devastating health risks for the LGBT community; including, depression, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide.
The bill would prevent a mental health provider from engaging in the therapy and by any means. If passed, anyone that engaged in conversion therapy shall be subject to discipline by the licensing entity or disciplinary review board with competent jurisdiction.
The bill is sponsored by Maroney, Baldwin, Beach, Facemire, Ihlenfeld, Jeffries, Lindsay, Palumbo, Plymale, Prezioso, Romano, Stollings, Takubo, Weld, Woelfel, Swope and Hardesty. Republican Sue Cline initially sponsored the bill but has asked to be removed as a sponsor.
You can read the full bill below:SB359 Conversion Therapy Ban