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Connecticut House Votes To Ban Conversion Therapy

Lynne Sladky

On Tuesday the Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill to bar conversion therapy, the discredited practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of homosexual people to heterosexual. The bill passed by a vote of 141 to 8.

State Representative Jeffrey Currey, an East Hartford Democrat who is openly gay, is a sponsor of the bill. It would make Connecticut one of a half dozen states with anti-conversion therapy laws. He praised his colleagues for their overwhelming support. It’s much like how his mother, Melody Currey, a former member of the House supported him when he came out to her.

“I turned and said, ‘Hey, mom, I’m gay.’ She said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘Great!’ And that was that. But unfortunately that is not always the case for so many of our LGBT youth here in Connecticut. And I think taking this step today is something that is going to show them that you have their back.”

The bill puts into Connecticut law the conclusions of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, stating that homosexuality is not a disease and that forcing conversion therapy on a minor can be harmful. The Connecticut House vote comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar law in California. The bill now goes to the State Senate for action.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.