The Oregon House voted on Tuesday to outlaw the dangerous practice of conversion therapy, with several lawmakers arguing the practice is heavily discredited and can cause irreparable emotional and mental damage reports KATU.com. The passage of HB 2307 makes it illegal for social workers or licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, to practice conversion therapy on children under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon. The bill even received support from Rep. Knute Buehler, a Bend Republican.
"Conversion therapy itself can cause incredible emotional and mental trauma to people, particularly young people in the process of coming to terms with their sexual identities."
The measure passed 41-18 and now heads to the Senate. New Jersey and California recently passed laws banning the dangerous therapy with Federal appeals courts upholding the bans. However, others such as Rep. Duane Stark, a Republican from Grants Pass who voted against the bill, felt there should be an opt-in option for the treatment should youth choose to pursue the treatment on their own volition.
"It's a normal, common practice that when people come in they can request from their therapist what sort of therapy they want to receive. I felt like there should be some sort of opt-in option for youth and empower them in that client-centered therapy."
However, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have both condemned the dangerous therapy, with proponents of the bill saying the therapy leads to anxiety, depression and destructive behaviors in children.