SALEM, OR -- The Oregon House approved a bill that would outlaw conversion therapy, a therapy used to try to change the sexual orientation of gay young people. The final vote was 51 to 18. Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend) supports ending a practice of psychotherapy, that he says should have been outlawed long ago. "Oregon should ban this fraudulent practice. Conversion Therapy is based on the deeply flawed premise that because of your sexual orientation, you must have mental disorder and be in need of professional help. Of course, we know that idea is not only ridiculous, but incredible offensive."
House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) had concerns about how this bill would protect religious exemptions or free speech rights, but eventually decided to support it. "One of my concerns has been assurance that it protects the religious liberty of all Oregonians. And based on the answers I got I believe the legislation will not prevent any counselors from citiing a text that is inherent to their personal relationship, like a Christian counslor citing a bible."
New Jersey, California and Washington D.C. have already banned conversion therapy and a couple dozen more states are considering it.