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Amended conversion therapy bill could soon go to Nevada governor

CARSON CITY — A bill that would bar mental health professionals from conducting sexual orientation or gender identity conversion therapy on minors was amended in the Assembly on Friday ahead of a final vote next week.

Senate Bill 201, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, was amended on the Assembly floor by Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, to strengthen the legal justification for the measure.

The move also added language saying there is nothing in the measure prohibiting licensed health care professionals from engaging in counseling of such children if they are acting in a religious capacity.

The amendment passed on a voice vote but caused a brief kerfuffle when Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, unsuccessfully asked for a roll call vote.

Hansen questioned wording in the bill that says the therapy would be prohibited “regardless of the willingness of the person or his or her parent or legal guardian to authorize such therapy.”

The language was not part of the proposed amendment however, so Hansen’s query was not responded to by Araujo. The amendment then passed on a voice vote with a handful nay votes.

The bill should see a final vote that sends it to Gov. Brian Sandoval next week. The measure previously passed the Senate on a 15-5 bipartisan vote.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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