Virginia Legislators Debate Bill That Would Limit 'Conversion Therapy' For Gays | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Virginia Legislators Debate Bill That Would Limit 'Conversion Therapy' For Gays

Members of Virginia's General Assembly are debating the merits of a controversial therapy that aims to turn gay people straight.

It's called conversion therapy, and Arlington Del. Patrick Hope wants to make it illegal for minors. A panel is set to cast a vote on his bill, which would threaten the professional standing of therapists who engage in conversion therapy with minors.

"If you are a licensed therapist, health care professional, you would be prohibited from doing conversation therapy on minors. And any therapist who performs this, their licensure would be threatened," he says.

But Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb says the effort is hypocritical.

"It's astonishing that a party that claims to defend choice and free speech are bent on limiting both for counselors, parents and kids who are struggling with their sexuality," she argues.

Cobb says that members of the General Assembly should stay away from telling health professionals what kind of therapy they should use. "Counselors, who are experts in this field, should be able to help people as they deem appropriate," she says.

Hope described the subcommittee considering his bill as the killing fields, adding the effort is aimed more at making a statement. "They will do away with this bill. But not before we have several victims who come forward and say how this has impacted their lives," he says.

The vote is scheduled for Friday.

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