Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced legislation in both chambers aiming to protect LGBTQ kids from the harmful practice of so-called “ex-gay” therapy.
The bill would “prohibit certain mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy with a minor.
Conversion therapy is any practice that seeks to change an individual’s gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.
The bills are before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services the Assembly Committee on Mental Health.
Assembly Bill 349 is co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Todd Novak and Democratic Reps. Amanda Stuck, Mark Spreitzer, JoCasta Zamarripa, Jimmy P. Anderson, Terese Berceau, David Bowen, Jonathan Brostoff, Dave Considine, David C. Crowley, Eric Genrich, Dianne Hesselbein, Gordon Hintz, Frederick Kessler, Cory Mason, Tod Ohnstad, Melissa Sargent, Katrina Shankland, Christine Sinicki, Lisa Subeck, Chris Taylor, and Josh Zepnick.
Senate Bill 261 is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Fred Risser, Tim Carpenter, Chris Larson, Mark Miller, Janis Ringhand and LaTonya Johnson.
The bills are not likely to advance in the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Legislature.
Nevada joins eight other states and D.C. in banning ex-gay therapy
While Wisconsin lawmakers try, Nevada’s have succeeded.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval in mid-May signed into law Senate Bill 201, making Nevada the latest to protect ban ex-gay or conversion therapy for minors.
“Conversion therapy has been disavowed by medical experts and is considered a non-effective method of treatment that can cause harm to an adolescent,” Sandoval said at the signing. “This law will help protect some of our state’s most vulnerable youth.”
Democratic State Sen. David Parks, who is gay, sponsored the bill.
“I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly for their bipartisan support of Senate Bill 201,” Parks said. “Conversion therapy is a dangerous, discredited practice that has been shown to cause anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide among LGBTQ youth.”
Nevada becomes the third state this year to regulate the practice.
It joins Connecticut, California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York and New Mexico in adopting laws or regulations protecting youth from the practice.
Municipalities also have enacted protections, including cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.