Utah has became the 19th U.S. state to ban conversion therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation or gender identity in lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual and queer children.
The ban in the Republican-dominated state, which took effect on Wednesday, exempts members of the clergy, lay pastors, and spiritual counselors not licensed by the state from the ban. Despite those limits, this is still a big victory in a very conservative state.
Conversion therapy involves a variety of psychological and spiritual practices aimed at changing sexual orientation and gender identity in the belief that homosexuality and transgender identity are mental illnesses.
The American Psychological Association has called the treatment harmful to young people. The American Medical Association has said that conversion therapy does not work and can trigger depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide attempts.