Georgia lawmaker wants to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for Georgia minors

ATLANTA — A state lawmaker says she will introduce legislation banning “conversion therapy” for minors in Georgia.

State Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, plans to introduce the legislation during the 2014 legislative session, which convenes in January.

“This legislation seeks to protect children from treatments that have presented no evidence of success or benefits, only negative health risks,” Waites said in a statement. “Through this legislation I hope that Georgia will become the third state in our nation to prohibit gay conversion therapy for minors.”

“Conversion therapy” is aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation through counseling. California, which passed a similar measure in 2012, and New Jersey, which passed a law earlier this year, are the only two states that have banned “conversion therapy” for minors, according to Waites.

“All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation,” according to the American Psychological Association’s website. “To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective.”

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