Gov. David Ige today signed into law a bill that bans therapists from offering “conversion therapy” to LGBTQ youths under 18, making Hawaii the 12th state to put such a prohibition in place.
“The overwhelming scientific research has shown that conversion therapy is not effective and frequently has lasting, harmful psychological impacts on minors,” Ige said at a bill-signing ceremony, flanked by supporters of the ban. “This practice is neither medically nor ethically appropriate.”
Senate Bill 270 was introduced by Sen. Stanley Chang (D, Diamond Head-Kahala-Hawaii Kai). “This is one of those bills that’s a no-brainer,” Chang said. “Ask anyone below the age of 30 in Hawaii or across the country, I think they’d be shocked that this practice still happens.”
The ban on what’s technically known as “sexual orientation change efforts” includes the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and applies to psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family therapists and other licensed professionals.