By Alys Brooks
While legislators in many states have banned the practice of so-called conversion therapy, Texas state Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) quietly filed a bill this month that would protect mental health providers who engage in practices motivated by their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
LGBTQ people and advocates view this as a thinly veiled attempt to legalize “conversion therapy,” a pseudoscientific practice that tries to make queer people straight or trans people cis. Efforts to protect health-care workers who want to discriminate against LGBTQ people as part of their religious beliefs are far from uncommon in state legislatures, especially those controlled by Republicans.
Sanford’s proposed legislation comes as legislators in 15 states and Washington, D.C. have banned the harmful practice of so-called conversion therapy. Legislative attempts to end “conversion therapy” had the backing of the federal government during the second Obama administration.
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