Two Democrats have introduced bills that would prohibit therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Virginia.
According to the Washington Blade, state Senator Scott Surovell, a Democrat from Fairfax County, and Delegate Patrick Hope, a Democrat from Arlington County, introduced their bills on Friday, January 5.
James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a group that promotes LGBT rights, said in a statement issued Tuesday that his organization is “grateful to Sen. Surovell and Del. Hope for making a bill to ban conversion therapy an early part of their legislative agendas.”
“I trust that Virginia's General Assembly will side with the majority of Virginians who believe this destructive practice should be outlawed,” Parrish said.
Virginia's legislative session began Wednesday.
States which have enacted such bans include Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island and New Mexico. Earlier this week, the New Hampshire House narrowly killed such a bill. An increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida.