Lawmakers Vote to Ban Controversial Conversion Therapy

May 9, 2017

Controversial therapies that are meant to turn young gay people straight could soon be banned in Nevada.

A bill outlawing psychotherapists and social workers from providing what's called "sexual conversion therapy" to patients under 18 could soon make its way to the governor's desk.

Senate Bill 201 was passed by lawmakers in the Assembly, Tuesday after a 31-8 vote.

Speaking in favor of the measure, Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod of Las Vegas says the controversial therapy has been shown to lead to depression, homelessness and suicide.

"I think if my daughter was in this position, it would be love and support that she needs," says Bilbray-Axelrod. "Not me, or anyone else telling her to be different. I'm glad this body will take steps to prevent licensed medical providers from offering these services."

But some Republican lawmakers like Las Vegas Assemblyman Chris Edwards argued the measure goes too far, banning parents or religious leaders from talking with children about their sexuality.

"Without clear language that protects parents, clergy, doctors and patients and does not clearly preserve unfettered dialogue and parental rights we should not adopt this," Edwards says.

The measure will now head to back to the Senate for an approval of changes before it heads to the governor.