Utah is close to banning gay conversion therapy after receiving the backing of the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Utah is set to become the 19th state in the country to ban conversion therapy after the state legislature failed to pass a similar bill earlier in the year. GOP Gov. Gary Herbert announced a regulatory rule on Tuesday that would accomplish much of what was drafted in the legislation, according to the Associated Press.
“I have learned much through this process,” Herbert said in a statement. “The stories of youth who have endured these so-called therapies are heart rending, and I’m grateful that we have found a way forward that will ban conversion therapy forever in our state.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, did not take a stance on the earlier legislation. The state government secured the church’s support by including a provision in the rule that would allow therapists in the church to provide spiritual support and counseling for families seeking it. . .
“We are opposed to conversion therapy and our therapists do not practice it,” church director of government relations Marty Stephens said in a statement. “However, we are grateful for the clarifications the new rule provides, and we support its adoption.” (Read more from “Mormon Church Backs Gay Conversion Therapy Ban in Utah” HERE)