MONTPELIER, Vt. (NEWS10) – Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a law Wednesday banning the practice of conversion therapy, the practice of seeking to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity, in the state of Vermont.
The move comes at a time when issues of gender identity and orientation are once again at the forefront of the national conversation.
“It’s absurd to think that being gay or transgender is something to be cured of,” said Governor Shumlin. “Our country has come a long way in a short period of time in recognizing the civil rights of members of the LGBT community, and I am so proud that Vermont has taken a leadership role at every step of the way.”
Conversion therapy has been widely discredited by the scientific community.
A 2015 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration “found that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity are normal, and that conversion therapies or other efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity are not effective, are harmful, and are not appropriate therapeutic practices.”
Vermont follows California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. in banning conversion therapy. Earlier this year, New York Governor Cuomo announced regulations banning public and private insurers from covering the practice.
The ban takes effect July 1.