NEW YORK (AP) — Activists urging more states to ban gay conversion therapy for minors are expecting major gains in 2019, thanks to midterm election results and the buzz generated by two well-reviewed films.
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have already enacted laws prohibiting licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Leaders of a national campaign to ban the practice are hopeful that at least four more states — Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and New York — will join the ranks in the upcoming legislative sessions.
“We’d be disappointed if we don’t get those this year — they’re overdue,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights , one of the groups campaigning to impose bans in all 50 states.
The campaign has gained momentum in recent months thanks to the national release of two films dramatizing the experiences of youths who went through conversion therapy — “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and the higher-profile “Boy Erased” starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.