There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The report also estimated 20,000 LGBTQ youth now between 13 and 17 will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before they reach 18, and approximately 57,000 will be subjected to the controversial practice from a religious or spiritual adviser.
Del. Meagan Simonaire, a Republican, spoke on the House floor about the pain she experienced when her parents recommended the therapy to her when she told them she was bisexual. Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery Co.), now one of several Democrats running for governor, and in the House by Del.
"No child should ever be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called 'conversion therapy, '" said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement calling the treatment "dangerous and inhumane".
Despite broad opposition to LGBT rights within the GOP, a number of Republican Governors have previously signed bills banning gay "cure" therapy - including New Jersey's Chris Christie, Nevada's Brian Sandoval, New Mexico's Susana Martinez and Bruce Rauner of IL. Maryland's commitment to LGBTQ youth is another great stride toward making this type of treatment to sexual orientation or gender identity outlawed across the USA -with much work still to be done. "This risky and inhumane form of child abuse has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization".
Supporters of the ban note the therapy is widely discredited by medical and mental health associations.
Hogan's signature makes the Free State the 13th jurisdiction to take steps to curb the practice.
Legislators in New Jersey and Hawaii have also passed bills banning the practise, but the measure has yet to be signed into law.
FreeState Justice Executive Director Mark Procopio said, "Governor Hogan and Maryland's General Assembly send an important affirmation to LGBTQ youth across our state with the signing of these two bills". "They are ideal as they are".
"By sharing our stories, survivors like Meagan Simonaire and myself can help change hearts and minds to protect LGBTQ youth". "Today, the state of Maryland took an important step to ensure that all of Maryland's young people know that they are born ideal".