Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Governor Ralph Northam Signs Conversion Therapy Ban Into Law

(Crixell Matthews/VPM)
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed the conversion therapy ban into law Monday night. (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Virginia is now the first state in the South to ban conversion therapy for minors.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), bans any licensed counselor or medical professional  from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a child. Starting July 1st, anyone who does so could face disciplinary action. Northam signed the bill into law late Monday night.

Northam, who is a pediatrician, said he had serious concerns about the practice. 

“It’s important for people to be comfortable in who they are,” Northam said. “It doesn’t work. It puts people in very uncomfortable, awkward positions.”

Currently, only 19 other states in the U.S. have bans on conversion therapy. 

Religious and conservative groups opposed the ban, saying it violates peoples’ ability to exercise their religious beliefs. 

Related Stories