Gerratana Leads the Way on Prohibiting “Conversion Therapy”

Democratic State Senator Terry Gerratana led the approval of a bill in the Senate that prohibits the practice of so-called “conversion therapy”, a widely discredited practice aimed at changing a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The legislation, House Bill 6695, received unanimous, bipartisan support in the State Senate. It was previously approved by a vote of 141-8 in the House of Representatives.

Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy took the unusual step of immediately signing the bill into law, causing the ban on “conversion” to take effect immediately.

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice, which has been rejected by the American Medical Association and has no place in Connecticut,” said Gerratana, who is Co-Chair of the legislative Public Health Committee.

“LGBTQ youth don’t need to be changed or ‘fixed,’” said Gerratana, “they don’t need coercive therapy trying to make them be something they are not, they need our acceptance and support. Today’s vote is something we can all be proud of. It speaks to the values of our state and our commitment to creating a positive, accepting community for all our children.”

Gerratana explained the legislation further on Facebook.

House Bill 6695 prohibits health care providers or anyone “conducting trade or commerce” in Connecticut from practicing or administering “conversion therapy,” which is generally defined as any practice or treatment that seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill specifies certain types of counseling that are not considered conversion therapy, such as counseling that is intended to assist a person undergoing gender transition.

Under the bill, if any health care provider in Connecticut did engage in conversion therapy, it would be considered unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action. If anyone practiced conversion therapy while conducting trade or commerce, it would be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice. The bill also prohibits public funds from being spent on conversion therapy or any related actions.

Gerratana brought this legislation to the floor, which means that she was the floor leader in approving the legislation, in charge of moving its approval, explaining its provisions and answering questions about it.