A bill to protect Oklahoma’s LGBTQ youth is going before lawmakers Wednesday.
House Bill 3872 prohibits licensed therapists from practicing conversion therapy – a discredited treatment designed to turn gay children straight, but actually causes long-lasting harm.
The bill’s author, Representative Jason Dunnington, says if Oklahoma is going to be serious about protecting children in the state, then it must protect all of them, including the ones who are LGBTQ.
“We should be looking at it in the sense of if it harms even one child then we, as a state and especially we as elected officials, should say that we stand up to protect children and not allowed continued harm,” Dunnington said.
The Oklahoma City Democrat says conversion therapy has been known to cause a great level of depression and can nearly double the rate of suicide which is already high among LGBTQ youth.
The measure came out of a bipartisan committee this past fall studying the dangers of conversion therapy.
HB 3872 is going before the House Committee on Children, Youth and Family Services at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.