Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 201 into law on Wednesday, having his state join California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York via executive action, Oregon, and Vermont.
Democratic State Senator David Parks, the legislator who sponsored SB 201, said in a statement that the law was “a major step forward in building a more equal and inclusive state.”
“Nevada has a long record of passing progressive legislation to protect the LGBTQ community with bipartisan support, and I want to thank Governor Sandoval for signing this critical legislation,” stated Parks, as quoted by the Las Vegas Review Journal.
“Conversion therapy has been disavowed by medical experts and is considered a non-effective method of treatment that can cause harm to an adolescent,” Sandoval said in a statement. “This law will help protect some of our state’s most vulnerable youth.”
The practice of therapy aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or transgender status is considered ineffectual at best and harmful at worst. Major medical and psychological institutions, including American Psychological Association, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, widely reject conversion therapy.
Often teenagers are forced into therapy, told they can become “straight again.” Conversion therapy sessions take place often daily, with illegal shock therapy treatments lasting approximately an hour, and aversion therapy lasting three.
“Conversion therapy causes serious harms,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter . “In the short-term, queer youth who go through conversion therapy are being cheated of the opportunity to gain self-confidence and self-esteem, to get support from family members and other adults, and to have normal adolescent developmental experiences around friendship, dating, and other social experiences. In the long-term, the negative health consequences of being subjected to conversion therapy are extremely serious and can include substance abuse, dropping out of school, HIV infection, depression, and suicide attempts.”