Earlier this week on Tuesday, January 21, Utah becomes the 19th state in the United States to ban Conversion Therapy of LGBTQ youth. This victory only comes less than half a year after Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis Signed a bill that also banned the “therapy.”
NEWNOWNEXT Reports the bill “faced an uphill battle against conservative Utahns.” This isn’t surprising, as a majority of those in Utah belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. In total, a whopping 62.8 percent subscribe to that religion. Still, against all odds, it passed. The bill in question was signed into law by Republican Governor Gary Herbert.
“It’s really given people a lot of hope,” Shannon Minter, legal director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the Associated Press about the bill. She also noted surprise that the conservative state passed the bill.
In a statement Released by the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention program for LGBTQ youth, the group claim they “commend the State of Utah for taking bold action to protect thousands of LGBTQ young people.” They also shared the results of a national survey which shines a light on the statistics behind conversion therapy. Shockingly, today, two in three LGBTQ youths are asked to convert their sexuality despite all the strides our community has made, and even more frighteningly, that 57 percent of trans or nonbinary youth have undergone and survived conversion therapy,
A bill of this magnitude being signed so early within 2020 is another a stepping stone in the right direction, as conversion therapy is banned in 19 states. However, in 31 other states in the U.S., conversion therapy is legal and still remains completely unregulated. Now is the time that we must take action, not just with personal beliefs but, also to change the senate and congress for the better.