Senate Bill 132 ensures that LGBTQ youth will not be subjected to dangerous conversion therapy.
Vermont is officially the eighth jurisdiction in the United States to sign a bill into law to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
Governor Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 132 on Wednesday May 25. He stated in a press release, “It’s absurd to think that being gay or transgender is something to be cured of. Our country has come a long way in a short period of time in recognizing the civil rights of members of the LGBT community, and I am so proud that Vermont has taken a leadership role at every step of the way.”
Senate Bill 132 protects LGBTQ youth from mental health providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through practices that are linked to substance abuse, extreme depression, and suicide.
The bill was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives in April and will go into effect on July 1, 2016.
California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C. and Cincinnati have all passed similar legislation.
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Youth Policy Counsel Carolyn Reyes said, “We are thrilled that Vermont has joined the rapidly growing number of states leading the way to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.
“Vermont families can now have confidence that hte mental health professional they turn to in times of uncertainty may not use their state license to profit from their children’s pain. Most importantly, Vermont children can now rest easy in the knowledge that they cannot be forced or coerced to undergo dangerous and discredited treatments to try to change who they are. Today brings us one step closer to the day when all LGBTQ youth know they were born perfect.”