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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Federal anti-conversion therapy bill introduced in House
by Matt Simonette
2019-03-28

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U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney ( D-NY ) introduced a bill prohibiting federal Medicaid funds from being used for anti-gay conversion therapy on March 28. Maloney's legislation would also crack down on deceptive billing practices carried out in support of such therapy.

Conversion therapies undertaken to turn LGBT persons straight have long been discredited among psychological and medical professionals. Illinois is among the states already having strict prohibitions against their practice.

The legislation is titled the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act

"Conversion practices are discredited, harmful, and not therapy," said Maloney in a statement. "Fundamentally, conversion tactics are based on the idea that a person's gender identity or sexual orientation are diseases to be cured—they have no legitimate medical application and should not be used anywhere. Until we can just ban conversion 'therapy' all together, we must ensure taxpayer dollars aren't funding a fraudulent practice that has been roundly discredited by the medical community. That's exactly what my bill would do."

"The Trevor Project hears from youth harmed by the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy every week," added Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project. By limiting the means by which licensed mental health professionals can be reimbursed for their horrific practice, the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act will make clear that conversion therapy is far outside the mainstream. More than 21,000 advocates have joined The Trevor Project's 50 Bills 50 States campaign dedicated to protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. We look forward to mobilizing them to ensure this critical legislation receives the attention and support it deserves."


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