Ban conversion therapy in Washington State

by Matt Landers, GSBA Public Policy & Communications Manager
| Jan 11, 2018

Summary: Senate Bill 5722 will protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors against exposure to serious harms caused by conversion therapy. Performing conversion therapy would be considered unprofessional conduct for any licensed health care provider and subject them to loosing their license.

GSBA position: GSBA is strongly in support of SB 5722, which would restrict the practice of conversion therapy. As the largest LGBT chamber of commerce, with over 1,300 business and nonprofit members, GSBA is proud to bring a strong voice on behalf of both the LGBT and business communities to this issue.

Many states and jurisdictions, including the City of Seattle and our neighbors in Oregon, have already recognized the deep and lasting harm that conversion therapy does to LGBT youth. Conversion therapy is dangerous and has been rejected by every credible medical and mental health organization for decades, but there still remain some providers who offer this practice. Minors are particularly vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and even suicide. The American Psychological Association found in 2007 that there is no methodologically sound research supporting the efficacy of conversation therapy.

The state has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors and in protecting them against exposure to the serious harms caused by conversion therapy.

As one of the largest business organizations in the state of Washington, GSBA is fully in support of declaring that performing conversion therapy on a patient under 18 years of age constitutes unprofessional conduct for any license holder. 

We personally know many people who have been subject to these so-called treatments, including many of our members and our Scholars. GSBA and our 1,300-strong membership strongly urge the Washington Legislature to adopt SB 5722 and ban the deeply harmful practice of conversion therapy.
 

Bill information:
  • SB 5722
  • ACTION ALERT: Urge your legislators to support SB 5722!
  • Call or email your legislators (find them here)
  • What to say: "Hi, my name is _____ and I am your constituent. Please vote YES on Senate Bill 5722. It is time to end the harmful practice of conversion therapy and protect LGBTQ youth in Washington State."