The Virginia House of Delegates on Monday in a bipartisan vote approved a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.
House Bill 386, sponsored by state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington County), would prohibit health providers who counsel minors from engaging in the practice that has been widely discredited. It passed by a 66-27 vote margin with support from several Republicans.
“So-called reparative therapies are aimed at ‘fixing’ something that is not a mental illness and therefore does not require therapy,” American Psychological Association President Barry S. Anton said in a 2015 statement on the association’s website. “There is insufficient scientific evidence that they work, and they have the potential to harm the client.”
The Virginia Senate in January approved its own bill that would ban the controversial practice in the state. The chamber must pass HB 386 and Gov. Ralph Northam will need to sign it before it becomes law