Democrats on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban therapies aimed at altering the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Introduced by Washington Senator Patty Murray, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 is nearly identical to a bill introduced last year by Democrats and shelved by Republicans.
“The Trump Administration has laid out a hateful, damaging agenda to undo hard-won progress, divide our communities, hurt our friends, neighbors, and family members just because of who they are or who they love,” Murray said in a statement.
The bill makes it “unlawful” for any person “to provide conversion therapy,” or claim in an advertising that “such efforts are harmless or without risk to individuals receiving such therapy,” or “to knowingly assist or facilitate the provision of conversion therapy to an individual if such person receives compensation from any source in connection with providing conversion therapy.”
Democrats, however, appear divided on the issue. With only 22 co-sponsors in the Senate, fewer than half of the chamber's Democrats have signed on. Backers include Senators Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken. Similar legislation in the House has 67 Democratic co-sponsors, or slightly higher than a quarter of Democratic representatives.