St. Louis board to consider conversion therapy ban

By : Wire Report
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ST. LOUIS (AP) | Therapists would be barred from trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors in St. Louis under legislation that an aldermanic committee has advanced.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the legislation was passed out of the committee Nov. 13 after voices on both sides of the issue made impassioned pleas. The bill now goes to the full Board of Aldermen.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay survivors of conversion therapy tell their stories

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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It’s been 46 years since the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, yet the pseudoscientific practice known as “conversion therapy,” as well as other socio-religious theories intended to change homosexuals into heterosexuals still exist.

The American Medical Association says plainly that the theories behind the ideas that sexual orientation and gender identity are malleable are “not based on medical and scientific evidence.” They go on to assert that conversion therapy and other similar practices can cause “significant psychological distress,” including increased rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

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Bill to ban conversion therapy refiled in Florida House

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Beach) filed House Bill 41 (HB41) for the second year Aug. 9, which aims to prohibit the discredited practice of conversion therapy throughout Florida.

Conversion therapy purports to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity using “psychological or spiritual intervention.” Florida has no statewide ban on conversion therapy, 21 of its cities, counties and municipalities have banned the practice.

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N. Carolina governor moves to block conversion therapy funds

By : wire report
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ABOVE: N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper addresses lawmakers in July. Photo courtesy Gov. Cooper’s Facebook page.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) | North Carolina’s state health department is barred from allowing public funds to pay for conversion therapy for minors, a controversial practice aimed at changing young LGBTQ people’s sexual orientations, under an order signed Friday by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Advocacy groups praised the Democratic governor’s executive order as a pioneering step to restrict the therapy in the U.S. South.

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Omar rallies support for bill banning gay conversion therapy

By : wire report
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) | Rep. Ilhan Omar has rallied LGBTQ youth in support of a Minnesota bill to ban gay conversion therapy for minors or vulnerable adults.

Omar spoke March 21 on the state Capitol steps to a crowd that marched from OutFront Minnesota’s seventh annual Youth Summit at Saint Paul College.

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Mormon church won’t oppose gay conversion therapy ban

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The Mormon church won’t stand in the way of a proposal to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in its home base of Utah, leaders said Feb. 20, a position that advocates heralded as a milestone in the conservative state.

“The announcement is key in part because LGBT members have historically reported that church leaders encouraged them to attend therapy aimed at changing their sexual orientation,” said Troy Williams with the group Equality Utah.

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Columbia against conversion therapy for minors

By : wire report
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) | The Columbia City Council is backing legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the council members voiced their support Feb. 18 for the Youth Mental Health Preservation Act, which was introduced last month in the House.

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Del. governor signs conversion therapy ban into law

By : Blake Chambers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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DOVER, Del. | Gov. John Carney signed SB 65 into law on Monday, making Delaware the 15th state to ban the practice of conversion therapy in addition to Washington, D.C. Delaware House of Representative member Debra Heffernan, Delaware state Sen. Harris McDowell and Lisa Goodman of Equality Delaware gave speeches at the signing.

Delaware joins New York, Hawaii and Rhode Island among others in banning conversion therapy statewide.

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DOD appears to contradict White House on process for trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Defense Department spokesperson appeared Thursday to contradict the White House on the process for drafting the transgender military policy, asserting it was “a coordinated effort” with the White House and Justice Department as opposed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and his working group alone within the Pentagon.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokesperson, made the comments Thursday during a Pentagon news briefing in response to a question on timing for the release of the policy late Friday night and whether Mattis was “proud” of his recommendation against transgender military service.

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Washington State becomes 11th to ban ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on Thursday a ban on “ex-gay” conversion therapy, making the Evergreen State the eleventh in the nation to prohibit the widely discredited practice for youth.

Inslee signed the measure, SB 5722, at a ceremony in Olympia, Wash., making it illegal for licensed mental health therapists in engage in conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18.

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Army nominee forced to withdraw over anti-LGBT views runs for Congress

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Tennessee state senator forced to withdraw his nomination as Army secretary under the Trump administration after calling being transgender a “disease” has launched a campaign to run for Congress.

Mark Green will pursue the seat representing Tennessee’s 7th congressional district in the aftermath of its current occupant, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), declaring her bid to run for U.S. Senate.

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Presidential hopeful says being gay is a choice

By : Staff Report
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Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson took to Facebook to apologize after saying being gay is choice.

In an interview on March 4 with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Cuomo asked Carson if he believed that being gay was a choice. Carson replied, “Absolutely.”

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