Conversion Therapy

Utah has become the 19th — and most conservative — state in the U.S. to ban "conversion therapy" for minors. The widely discredited practice, aimed at changing a patient's sexual orientation or gender identity, is now formally barred in the state after the new rule took effect late Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who directed licensing regulators to make the change, confirmed the move to NPR on Wednesday.

On the heels of Colorado becoming the 18th state to ban “conversion therapy” earlier this year, Utah’s debating the widely discredited practice meant to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression.

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Gov. Jared Polis signed a pair of bills expanding state protections to the LGBTQ community into law on Friday, the eve of Pride Month.

The bills included a ban on psychotherapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors, often called “conversion therapy,” and a change to state law that makes it easier for transgender residents to update gender markers on their birth certificates.

Polis called it an exciting day for Colorado.

Peter Nunn is 32 and he's happy. He lives just outside Atlanta with his husband Monte, his dog Amelie, and their cat Hollow.

The dining room is decorated with a photo gallery wall of family — his husband dancing with his mother at their wedding and pictures of the couple. But it took a long time and work to get to a place where Nunn said he accepted and loved himself.

As a gay man, Nunn said, his father tried to change him.

Colorado lawmakers want a fifth attempt to ban psychotherapy that seeks to change minors' sexual orientation or gender identity to succeed.

The House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee sent a bill to ban the practice to the full House on a 8-3 vote Wednesday. Three GOP lawmakers cast the "no" votes.

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Colorado lawmakers are once again debating a bill to ban so-called conversion therapy for youth in the state. The practice seeks to change a gay or non-straight person's sexual orientation to heterosexual. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has said the practice does not work, can be harmful, and furthermore, that variations in sexual orientation and gender expression are normal.

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth remains legal across most of the country, and much of our region. But right now, Colorado is considering a statewide ban on the practice.