Conversion Therapy | KUER 90.1

Conversion Therapy

Utah has become the 19th — and most conservative — state in the U.S. to ban "conversion therapy" for minors. The widely discredited practice, aimed at changing a patient's sexual orientation or gender identity, is now formally barred in the state after the new rule took effect late Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who directed licensing regulators to make the change, confirmed the move to NPR on Wednesday.

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Austin Kirk / Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020

Photo of the Utah flag with a rainbow sky in the background.
Cory Dinter for KUER

Last week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to an agreement on banning conversion therapy for LGBT minors — an effort that stalled with Utah lawmakers earlier this year. 

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iStock

Wednesday evening, November 27, 2019

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File / KUER

Updated 12:21 p.m. MST, 11/27/19

LGBTQ+ activists and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have come together on a proposal to ban conversion therapy for minors. 

File: Utah Governor Gary Herbert

Gov. Gary Herbert says a proposed rule to ban the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth may require some fine-tuning after it was met with opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints earlier this month.

Map of U.S. states with laws banning conversion therapy for minors.
Movement Advancement Project

On the heels of Colorado becoming the 18th state to ban “conversion therapy” earlier this year, Utah’s debating the widely discredited practice meant to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression.

Image of person on therapist couch looking distraught
Renee Bright / KUER

The effort to change a young person’s sexual orientation with therapy may soon be prohibited for psychologists in Utah.

Photo of Governor.
Screenshot KUED

Gov. Gary Herbert has directed state regulators to create new rules for monitoring conversion therapy, a widely discredited practice intended to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Photo of Amelia Damarjian
Courtesy Amelia Damarjian

When 19-year-old Amelia Damarjian saw that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had backed amendments to a proposed conversion therapy ban bill, she was furious.

Karianne Lisonbee
Austen Diamond / KUER

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A nationwide push to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors looked like it could succeed in conservative Utah after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it wouldn't stand in the way, but the effort ground to a halt this week.

Photo of Karianne Lisonbee.
Daysha Eaton / KUER

Updated 5:03 p.m. MST 3/6/19

In a press conference at the Capitol Wednesday, two key supporters of legislation that would have banned conversion therapy with minors in Utah resigned from the Governor’s Youth Suicide Task Force.

photo of Utah State capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah legislators on the House Judiciary Committee questioned on Friday the scope of a bill that would ban a controversial form of psychotherapy.

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Kelsie Moore / KUER

Note that this story discusses suicide.

Standing alone on stage at the Salt Lake Public Library auditorium, Arturo Fuentes takes a deep breath, and begins to tell his story of torment.

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Judy Fahys / KUER

Dozens gathered beneath the Utah Capitol dome Thursday to support new legislation that would outlaw conversion therapy with licensed therapists for those under 18.

Illustration of depression.
Renee Bright / KUER

Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, a Utah LGBTQ group is preparing a bill that would ban conversion therapy, a form of psychotherapy that purports to help people with same-sex attraction to become heterosexual.