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Hawaii passes bill banning gay conversion therapy

Hawaii has become the 12th US state to ban the practice

By Fabio Crispim

Hawaii has become the 12th US state to ban conversion therapy. 

On Friday (April 27), Hawaiian lawmakers cleared the way for Senate Bill 270 to be sent to Democratic Governor David Inge, who is expected to sign the bill into law. 

The state’s House of Representatives passed the bill, which bans conversion therapy on anyone under the age of eight, earlier this month.

Michael Golojuch, chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s LGBT Caucus, said: “This has been a priority of the caucus for years.”

He then said that SB 270 “ensures that LGBTQ youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals.” 

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.”

The news comes after Maryland became the eleventh state to pass a ban on the practice which is already illegal in 11 US states as well as Switzerland, Malta, Taiwan and two Canadian provinces.