Idaho could become the latest state to outlaw conversion therapy for minors under a new bill introduced Monday morning.
House Assistant Minority Leader John McCrostie (D-Garden City), who is openly gay, introduced a bill that would ban mental health professionals in Idaho from offering conversion therapy to anyone under 18 – something he’s unsuccessfully pushed for the past three years.
“Survivors of conversion therapy are at high risk for attempting suicide, suffering extreme depression, abuse of alcohol and/or illicit drugs and risky sexual behavior,” McCrostie said.
State code defines a mental health professional as a physician, professional counselor, psychologist, social worker or a nurse.
Anyone who violates this proposal, if it becomes law, could have their professional license suspended or revoked.
Like a law that went into effect in Utah last month, it would exempt clergy and family members, as long as they were not acting in their capacity as a mental health worker.
Rep. John Vander Woude (R-Nampa) unsuccessfully moved to quash the bill before it was introduced.
Vander Woude, House Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett) and Rep. Chad Christensen (R-Ammon) were the only committee members to vote against it.
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