Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a new bill into law that prohibits medical professionals from using the controversial conversion therapy method to change a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The signing of the bill comes after the legislation was approved in the Senate on Wednesday.
Governor Malloy signed the bill into law immediately after the legislation was approved, calling in LGBT advocates and legislative leaders to witness the signing.
The bill was previously approved in the House, and passed the Senate unanimously after a 90-minute debate and tough questions from Republicans.
Under the new law, licensed medical professionals who practiced conversion therapy on minors would face disciplinary actions by the Department of Public Health and could lose their license.
“This is supported by science,” said Governor Malloy. “This is supported by our cultural awakening and awareness that we are a society of very different players, of different folks, and we shouldn’t try to make people just like us and should recognize that some people simply are not us. But that doesn’t make them bad, and it certainly doesn’t make them mentally ill. And it certainly should not subject anyone to therapies that don’t work and aren’t supported by science.”
The bill prohibits the practice of conversion therapy, which includes electro-shock therapy, on minors. But the law does not ban the practice among adults, and religious leaders are still free to offer guidance.
Other estates have adopted similar laws, including Oregon, Vermont, California, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
“It’s very difficult to deny a person’s biology,” said Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton).
Conversion therapy has been denounced by leading medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association and the National Association of Social Workers, which have stated homosexuality cannot be “cured” and is not a mental illness.