The number of states where it’s legal could be set to fall again.
If Maryland does ban the practice, the number of U.S. states to have done so would be 11. The other ten states are New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada and Washington.
And sixteen others state are currently considering bans on the discredited practice. These states are Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
However, even though the practice is still legal in most of the states, certain cities like Cincinnati in Ohio or Miami in Florida have banned the practice.
Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates voted by 95-27 to ban the practice, and the bill is now headed to Gov. Larry Hogan. It is believed that Gov. Hogan is in favour of the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, JoDee Winterhof, urged Gov. Hogan to sign the bill into law, saying: “All children deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.
“This dangerous and inhumane practice has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health organisation in the country. We thank the state legislators who voted to protect LGBTQ youth and now call on Governor Hogan to sign this crucially important legislation.”
During the debate, House Delegate Meagan Simonaire referred to a story of a bisexual girl, saying: “They [her parents] weren’t ever hateful… but were fully convinced that she was living in sin and desperately wanted to get her the help she needed.
“While she never actually had to endure conversion therapy, the pain of having her good-intentioned parents convinced of its ability to “fix her” was enough to cause significant pain, self-loathing and deep depression.
“There were times where she seemingly couldn’t stop the tears from falling,” she finished. Simonaire later revealed that she was the girl in her story.
Following the passing of the bill, its sponsor, Delegate Bonnie Cullison said: “I am so grateful and happy to have been a part of this affirmation of our LBGTQ youth.
“Today, with passage of SB 1028, Maryland has made a strong statement that these young people are not broken–they are beautiful! We owe them our support and our protection under the law.”
Earlier this month, the EU voted to condemn the practice, and urged all of its member states to ban it.
The text that the EU adopted reads: “[The European Parliament] welcomes initiatives prohibiting LGBTI conversion therapies and banning the pathologisation of trans identities and urges all Member States to adopt similar measures that respect and uphold the right to gender identity and gender expression.”