The Washington Post

Bill to ban therapy to change sexuality of minors in Virginia dies in House

An attempt to ban Virginia mental health professionals from trying to change minors’ sexuality has been tabled in a House subcommittee, effectively killing the legislation.

Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), with the support of progressive and gay rights groups, pointed to medical associations that disavow so-called conversion therapy. Two women who had gone through such therapy themselves testified that they were scarred by the experience. But the lawmakers also heard from two men who argued that conversion therapy had helped them overcome same-sex attraction and should not be banned.

Hope’s bill would not have affected therapy for adults or religious counseling that does not involve mental health professionals.

Republicans have a large majority in the Virginia House, and the Health, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee has only one Democratic member.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.