October 14, 2015 — A New Hampshire lawmaker intends to propose legislation that would ban techniques intended to change the sexual orientation of minors, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
If enacted, the measure would make New Hampshire the fifth state to ban conversion therapy. According to the AP/Chronicle, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon -- as well as Washington, D.C. -- have all banned the practice.
The bill would make it easier to charge those who practice conversion therapy with fraud. Under the bill, providing conversion therapy would be classified as unprofessional conduct and licensed professionals could be disciplined by their licensing boards.
State Rep. Eric Schleien (R), the bill's sponsor, said he would introduce the measure in January, when the state Legislature reconvenes.
Medical Groups, White House Oppose Conversation Therapy
The American Psychological Association and other health organizations have denounced conversion therapy. APA noted that the therapy sometimes uses hypnosis, gives patients electric shocks or induces nausea among patients while showing them certain images. According to the AP/Chronicle, research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers who undergo conversion therapy are more likely to commit suicide, misuse drugs and experience depression.
The White House earlier this year declared support for state bans on the practice (Ronayne, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/12).