CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill Wednesday prohibiting mental health professionals from conducting sexual conversion therapy on minors.
Senate Bill 201, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, makes it illegal for a physician or other health professional to perform therapy intended to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of someone younger than 18.
Supporters of the ban say such therapy amounts to abuse of LGBTQ youth and can cause mental and emotional harm.
The bill was amended to exempt religious organizations and allow counseling by members of the clergy.
“Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation to protect LGBTQ youth,” Parks said in a statement.
“Banning conversion therapy makes Nevada a safer place for children who are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. This bill is a major step forward in building a more equal and inclusive state.”
Nevada becomes the eighth state to ban conversion therapy. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed similar legislation last month. Other states banning the practice are California, Vermont, Oregon, New Jersey, New York and Illinois.
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