Canada moves to ban conversion therapy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Photo public domain)

Lawmakers in Canada introduced a bill March 9 that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

Attorney General David Lametti and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger introduced the measure that would amend Canada’s Criminal Code. The proposed amendments would punish those who cause “a minor to undergo conversion therapy,” remove “a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad,” cause “a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will,” profit “from providing conversion therapy” and advertise “an offer to provide conversion therapy.”

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Va. governor signs bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill March 2 that will ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state.

Maryland and D.C. are among the U.S. jurisdictions in which the highly discredited practice has been banned. Virginia will become the first Southern state to prohibit conversion therapy for minors once the bill takes effect on July 1.

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2020 Presidential Preference Primary Election Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

Ahead of Florida’s presidential preference primary March 17, Watermark contacted each presidential campaign that will appear on the statewide ballot to ask nine yes (Y) or no (N) questions and one open-ended question pertaining to LGBTQ equality.

Below, you’ll find their abbreviated answers of the remaining candidates, compiled via each campaign’s direct response or the websites of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

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Va. Senate approves bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia Capitol. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill that would prohibit health care providers from engaging in so-called conversion therapy for minors.

The American Psychological Association has for years condemned the practice for the harm caused to patients as well as for promoting the unsupported “notion that sexual orientation can be changed.”

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LGBTQ activists, Gov. Walz, demand Minnesota ‘conversion therapy’ ban

By : wire report
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ABOVE: OutFront Minnesota, photo by Anne Hodson via OutFront Minnesota’s Facebook page.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) | Gov. Tim Walz and LGBTQ activists rallied at the Minnesota state Capitol on Friday to demand that the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate pass a ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, a discredited practice that seeks to turn gay people straight.

The proposal passed the Democratic-controlled House last year but an effort to amend it onto a larger bill on the Senate floor by Sen. Scott Dibble failed late in the session. The Minneapolis Democrat, who is openly gay, said he plans to reintroduce it this year, though he acknowledged in an interview that enacting it will be an uphill fight.

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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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