Nation

Discredited conversion therapy banned in conservative Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — 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.

“It’s really given people a lot of hope,” said Minter, whose group has pushed for bans around the country. Virginia is considering a ban, and the issue could also come up this year in Texas and Kentucky, he said.

Advertisement

The change in Utah comes after the state hammered out a regulatory rule that had the support of the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leaders had opposed a previous version because it didn’t have certain exceptions for clergy.

Get Today in Politics in your inbox:
A digest of the top political stories from the Globe, sent to your inbox Monday-Friday.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide.

associated press