DEL. JON CARDIN AND EQUALITY MARYLAND TO ANNOUNCE REGULATORY AVENUE TO PROTECT MINORS FROM SO-
THERAPY AT MARCH 14 PRESS CONFERENCE @ 9:30AM IN HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE ROOM
Delegate Jon S. Cardin and Equality Maryland will hold a joint press conference on March 14, 2014 at 9:30AM in the House of Delegate Ways and Means Committee Room 131 to announce a regulatory approach to combat the problem of so-
called “conversion” or “reparative”
therapy. Sexual orientation and gender identity change therapy also
referred to as “
therapy, attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient. Therapists who perform this type of work claim that homosexuality and gender identity disorders are mental illnesses that can be cured. However, the American Psychological Association has long recognized that sexuality and gender identity are not conscious choices that can be voluntarily changed. Additionally, all major medical and mental health associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, have stated that reparative therapy is ineffective and can be extremely dangerous. Del. Cardin introduced legislation this session to ban this kind of therapy on minors. The bill is modeled on legislation passed in California and New Jersey, and several other states and Washington, D.C. are considering similar bans. Del.
Cardin’s proposal wou
ld ban this therapy for children under the age of eighteen. The bill would have no effect on the right of religious institutions or faith leaders to advise their congregants on their beliefs on sexuality or gender identity and is explicitly limited to licensed mental health providers. While working on this legislation, Del. Cardin reached out to several organizations with expertise in regulatory protections for patients. The dialogue created among these groups affirmed widespread commitment to ensure this therapy is not practiced by licensed mental health practitioners The discussion identified an existing regulatory tool that can be used to protect minors.