Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to ban conversion therapy nationwide

The treatment has received lots of criticism from LGBTQ rights groups.

ByBy: Courtney Connley
April 28, 2017, 8:47 PM

— -- This week, Democratic lawmakers introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which will ban treatments nationwide that target the LGBTQ community and claim to be able to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

The treatment, which is often referred to as conversion therapy, has received lots of criticism from LGBTQ rights groups and mental and medical health organizations.

In an October 2015 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, conversion therapy is referred to as a treatment that "perpetuates outdated views of gender roles and identities as well as the negative stereotype that being a sexual or gender minority or identifying as LGBTQ is an abnormal aspect of human development."

The bill, which was introduced on April 25, isn't the first attempt Democratic lawmakers have made to try and ban the idea that members of the LGBTQ community need treatment for their sexual orientation.

On Feb. 6, 2016, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced executive actions banning public and private health care insurers in the state of New York from covering conversation therapy.

"We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are," Cuomo said in a press release.

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton also tweeted out her support for the conversion therapy ban, calling it "child abuse by another name."

While the bill introduced earlier this week received overwhelming support from Democrats, some politicians and community leaders have spoken out against such a ban.

ABC News reports that advocates of the conversion therapy plan were heartened by the election of Donald Trump and hope Republicans fight off efforts to make such treatment illegal.

"They certainly should not be outlawed. They certainly should not be prohibited by law," Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said in a "20/20" interview in January.

"As a Christian, I believe that the Bible teaches that to choose to engage in homosexual conduct is a sin," Sprigg added.

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