Discredited conversion therapy banned in conservative Utah

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Utah State Capitol, photo public domain.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children is now banned in Utah, making it the 19th state and one of the most conservative to prohibit it.

Supporters navigated a winding path to passage and some dissent remains, but barring it in Utah could give a boost to similar efforts in other right-leaning states, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

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Bills seek to end ‘conversion therapy’ in Kentucky

By : wire report
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ABOVE: State Rep. Lisa Willner (L) attends Pride in 2019. Photo via Willner’s Facebook page.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) | Twice a week for four years when he was in high school, gay student Zach Meiners underwent “conversion therapy,” a practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once the sessions ended, it took almost 10 years before he started “to heal and learn to love” himself, Meiners said Tuesday during a rally to promote bills that would effectively ban conversion therapy in Kentucky.

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2019 was a year for the LGBTQ record books

By : Jeremy Williams & Ryan Williams-Jent
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Of course not! That’s why after a historical 365 days, Watermark has assembled our annual year in review.

2019 was a landmark year for us here at Watermark. In August, we proudly celebrated 25 years of serving Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s ever-expanding LGBTQ communities.

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Germany bans so-called gay conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) and her Cabinet banned conversion therapy countrywide. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN (AP) | Germany is banning so-called gay conversion therapy for minors, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Dec. 18, saying the practice that purports to make patients straight has no scientific basis and often causes psychological harm.

Merkel’s Cabinet also outlawed the use of conversion therapy with adults who have diminished decision-making capabilities and barred advertisements for conversion therapy services, spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

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Justin Trudeau calls for conversion therapy ban in Canada

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a ban on so-called conversion therapy in his country.

Trudeau, in a letter sent to Attorney General David Lametti on Dec. 13, directed Lametti to work with Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger “to amend” Canada’s Criminal Code “to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.”

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Minnesota city to consider banning conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Downtown Duluth, Minnesota. (Photo by Tony Webster, from Flickr)

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) | Duluth is the latest city to consider banning conversion therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation.

A proposal to ban the practice was introduced at the City Council meeting Dec. 9. Council member Gary Anderson said he introduced the measure because of a lack of action by the state legislature. A proposed statewide conversion therapy ban failed in the Legislature earlier this year.

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Utah to become 19th state to ban conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, photo public domain.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday his state would implement regulations prohibiting mental health experts from engaging in “ex-gay” conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, making Utah the 19th state to prohibit the widely discredited practice.

The announcement from a Herbert, a Republican, comes after a tumultuous debate over conversion therapy in the heavily Mormon state, where family rejection of LGBTQ youth is known to contribute to Utah’s homeless population.

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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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Issue 26.23: Get on the Bus

By : Dylan Todd
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We look at a trans woman’s journey to activism, Pulse Memorial selects winning design, Tampa appeals conversion therapy ruling, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!!

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11.14.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Progress, not perfection: One of the many mantras for those in a 12-step program. The idea is that no one is perfect; therefore striving for or searching for perfection is futile. One should simply try to do the next right thing, work toward being better one day at a time. It sounds nice on paper, but putting it in practice is much more difficult. It takes tools and time to train your brain to think this way.

I can’t say if this is the way things have always been or if I am just opening my eyes to it in the wake of information overload, but our society seems too preoccupied with perfection — giving way to an all or nothing culture.

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Tampa appeals ruling striking down conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Tampa Pride 2018 participants make their way down 7th Ave. in Ybor. Photo by Russ Martin.

TAMPA | The city of Tampa has appealed a ruling striking down its ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

The practice purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and is opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and more. Tampa banned it in 2017 “to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors.”

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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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