Bill Seeking Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy Fails In Virginia House Committee

After a series of testimonies from both its proponents and detractors, a bill seeking to ban gay conversion therapy failed in the Virginia House's Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee. The bill was sponsored by Del. Patrick Hope (right), a democrat from Arlington County, and the subcommittee gave no reason for their opposition to it. 

PatrickhopeThe Virginian-Pilot reports:

Gail Dickert, a 35-year-old Alexandria woman, said she was subjected to conversion therapy by people from the various churches her family attended growing up.

As young as age 5, those parishioners told her she was “confused and lost” because she had a crush on a female classmate. They said she would be bullied for “not being right with God” and that she couldn’t pursue her desired career in the church if she didn’t change.

And they convinced her her attraction to women was brought about by repressed memories of sexual abuse, which she falsely accused her father of, she said. It took her more than 20 years to recover from the emotional scars the therapy inflicted, scars no child should have to bear, Dickert said.

Christopher Doyle also took the stand, claiming that after years of hardship and therapy surrounding his sexual orientation, he has been happily married to a woman for seven years and now works as a counselor "to assist other people who struggle with homosexuality."

Hope believes that his bill would have fallen in line with both the American Psychiatric and Medical Association's condemnation of conversion therapy. It would have mirrored bills that passed in California and New Jersey, prohibiting licensed medical professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors. The bill would not have applied to clergy. 

“I think that people in Virginia still believe that homosexuality is some sort of mental disorder,” Hope said after the vote. “But I think hearts and minds are changing every day. … And we’ll come back every year until this becomes law.”


  1. Will says

    What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do the religious right never listen to reason and science? It boggles my mind how someone especially in a position of authority gets all their ‘facts’ and morals from myth and fairy tale. I can not wait for the day religion loses its hold on humanity.

  2. SpaceCadet says

    Keep trying Del. Hope. Gay conversion therapy on minors is nothing short of child abuse. These parents that force it on their kids care more about their family reputation and how others with judge them as parents rather than the health and happiness of their children.

  3. Weird says

    2014, Science is freely available to those who choose to read it, and Virginia leaders STILL believe in this abuse. Noted.

  4. justwrong says

    everything in this world comes in pairs, look around you, pairs are never the same. pairs of opposites. this gay nonsense is un-natural you are going against nature. you choose to be gay then have the audacity to adopt a child really? just make that baby with your same sex partner. go ahead. it takes a pair of xy to make a child. homosexuality is seriously mental illness. u don’t have to be religious to know that this isn’t right. has anyone ever seen two lions going at it, male dogs? animals are more intelligent than humans? you guys really need to sit down and reassess. It is not right really sit down and meditate on this, tap into your subconscious mind u have to know deep down in your heart that this isn’t right.