Maryland Change Therapy Bill Withdrawn, Minnesota Bill Dead On Arrival
Maryland and Minnesota Become the Third and Fourth States to Reject Change Therapy Bills
Md. Delegate Jon Cardin at a Press Conference March 14 to Withdraw HB 91
Last Friday, March 14, 2014, Maryland Delegate Jon Cardin held a joint press conference with Equality Maryland to announce the death of HB 91, the bill that was proposing to ban Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy for minors. While Cardin claimed that the reason the bill was withdrawn was due to the existing regulatory oversight protections that are already in place to protect youth from "harmful conversion therapy," the real reason was because of the bill's lack of support within his own party. In reality, the unconstitutional notion of taking away the rights of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions did not sit well with Maryland legislators, and with Cardin engaged in the race for Attorney General, he was not about to take a chance that this bill would fail. The timing of the press conference (Friday) was also indicative that Cardin wanted very little attention on the withdraw of this bill.
The Baltimore Sun, the only major news outlet that even picked up the story, buried it in on their website on Friday evening where stories go to die. You can read the entire article by clicking here.
In the press conference, Cardin said he would work with the state licensing boards in Maryland to ensure that minors who are subjected to "harmful conversion therapy" have every avenue to file a complaint:
"Minors or anyone advocating on their behalf can file a complaint with a board, triggering a vigorous investigation . . . if the investigation uncovers proof that a licensed health care professional violated the standard of care, then the board has an array of regulatory tools to keep this from happening again . . . Delegate Cardin and Equality Maryland are confident that the existing regulatory framework provides a precise tool to protect minors from this harmful therapy, and we will work together and with other advocates to ensure that the process for filing complaints against anyone who engages in these practices is transparent and widely disseminated."
In other news, tomorrow marks the last day for a bill to advance in the Minnesota legislature, with House File 1906/Senate File 1727 failing to get a committee hearing. According to an anonymous source, Democratic leadership was unwilling to push this bill through the legislature without strong bi-partisan support. After a heavy education campaign from ex-gays in Minnesota, this bill is DEAD ON ARRIVAL.
Clearly, the politicians in Minnesota are not interested in such a divisive, unconstitutional bill like the proposed change therapy bill. This now makes four bills in a row that have been defeated: Virginia, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota.
Next up, Illinois will have a committee hearing on Monday, March 24 on the proposed bill to ban SOCE therapy for minors. If you live or know of anyone willing to testify against this destructive legislation on Monday, please contact us so we can put you in touch with the coalition fighting against this bill in Illinois.
Finally, click here to watch a recent Sky News segment that includes Christopher Doyle and a client of the International Healing Foundation that has experienced sexual orientation change. The segment focuses on the recent legislation proposed in Virginia, which was defeated.
Voice of the Voiceless is the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info