Delaware Public Media

Delaware Senate okays conversion therapy ban

May 17, 2017

State senators narrowly signed off on a bill banning conversion therapy Wednesday.

The proposal would ban therapists from coercing patients into changing their sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Much of the short debate from skeptical Republicans centered on whether a therapist could advise a patient who came to them, asking for help on how to not be gay.

 

Mark Purpura, a board member of LGBT rights group Equality Delaware, says that would still cross the line.

 

“That is actually even more damaging than any other kind of therapy because it leads the minor to believe that they can be changed and when it doesn’t work the minor blames themselves,” Purpura said.

 

Conversion therapy is banned in six states and Washington D.C. Several medical associations have decried the practice as well.

 

The bill passed 12-3 with a handful of lawmakers either choosing not to vote or they were absent.

 

It now needs approval from the House.