New Mexico appears set to become the seventh state in the U.S. to pass legislation that bans health care workers from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.
According to Buzzfeed News, House Speaker Brian Egolf feels confident the measure will pass in his chamber.
This would be welcome news as religious conservatives across the country have blocked the passage of LGBT nondiscrimination protections in recent years.
Senate Bill 121 would ban licensed health care professionals from any “treatment that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward persons of the same sex.”
Mental health professionals have widely denounced so-called “ex-gay” or “conversion” therapy as dangerous and harmful to minors. And, it doesn’t work.
The bill passed the New Mexico senate on a 32-6 vote last month, and the House Judiciary Committee advanced the bill on a vote of 5-2 last Wednesday.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has not signaled whether she would sign the bill into law or not.
New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, New York, and Vermont have all passed similar legislation.
In related news, Nevada Democrats have filed Senate Bill 201 which would ban licensed medical professionals from practicing “conversion therapy.”