February 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Bills to ban conversion therapy for minors introduced in Md.

Rich Madaleno, LGBT local news stories, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) has introduced a bill in the Maryland Senate that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two Maryland lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state.

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced Senate Bill 1028 in the Maryland Senate. State Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County) introduced House Bill 902 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Madaleno, who is running for governor, on Friday wrote on his Twitter page that “denying young people their humanity with conversion therapy is inhumane.”

“We need to ensure a better future for children free of this mental abuse,” he said. “[Maryland’s governor] needs to be at the forefront of this fight!”

FreeState Justice Executive Director Mark Procopio in a press release said the bills send “a clear message to LGBTQ youth across our state that they are welcomed and respected in Maryland.” The Pride Foundation of Maryland stated it “unequivocally supports passage of this legislation.”

“Conversion therapy attempts to erase LGBT people from the world, and it is unconscionable to allow it anywhere in this country,” it wrote on its Facebook page. “Maryland can be at the forefront of American society in codifying for LGBT people the right of self-expression.”

WISE (Women Indivisible, Strong and Effective) of Anne Arundel County and the Human Rights Campaign has also applauded the bills’ introduction.

Nine states and D.C. have banned so-called conversion therapy for minors.

Virginia lawmakers in recent weeks tabled two bills that would have banned the widely discredited practice in the commonwealth. The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit it in the state.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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