On Wednesday, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) signed a legislation to make it illegal for licensed therapists in Nevada to try and convince kids that identify themselves as gay to be heterosexual, a practice commonly called “conversion therapy.”
Sponsored by state Senator David Parks, a Democrat rep from Las Vegas, the legislation states that “‘Conversion therapy’ means any practice or treatment that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person, including, without limitation, a practice or treatment that seeks to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward persons of the same gender.”
“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 of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and even suicide.”
Before it was signed, the bill was amended to contain protections for religious organizations, and clergy whose religious views may require talking to kids about homosexuality in ways that would otherwise be deemed illegal under the clauses of the legislation.
A self-described “bisexual,” Yvette Cantu Schneider, who advocates for LGBTQ rights, claims that conversion therapy doesn’t work and can cause severe issues.
“I think this bill is important because it illegitimatizes the idea that there’s something wrong with being gay,” Schneider said. “I think that’s what makes it important for children. They’re not getting that message that, ‘Hey, there’s something wrong with me.’”