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Hawaii pushes forward bill opposing gay cure therapy

Gay cure therapy is already illegal in nine US states

2018-04-13

Hawaii has pushed forward a ban on gay 'cure' therapy for minors.

Performing gay "conversion therapy" is already illegal in nine US states - as well as Switzerland, Malta, Taiwan and two Canadian provinces - and Hawaii could become the latest to outlaw the use which aims to change the sexuality of minors.

Experts all agree the attempts to cure sexuality is often misguided and can be extremely harmful and has been linked to depression, self-harm and suicide.

This week, the Hawaii House of Representatives approved the bill weeks after the legislation cleared the state Senate, PinkNews reported.

Only two people - Republicans Gene Ward and Bob McDermott - opposed the legislature but the bill now heads to a conference committee for final approval.

JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, said: "So-called 'conversion therapy' is nothing short of child abuse with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth.

"It is time Hawaii join the growing number of states who are enacting laws to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous and discredited practice.

"We urge state legislators to swiftly advance SB 270 through conference committee with the strongest, timely protections intact and send it to the Governor [David] Ige's desk."

In the Senate the bill was passed by a vote of 24-1 with the lone vote against was by Mike Gabbard, the head of the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values, who waged a campaign to ban same-sex marriage.

HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad said: "We thank the state senators who voted to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy.

"Children across the Aloha State deserve to live their lives authentically, and they deserve to know that they are not broken or ill because of who they are."