Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 201 prohibiting mental health professionals in the state from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Just last week Connecticut joined the ranks of states that have banned such practices. New Mexico ban was approved just last month in April 2017 by Republican Gov. Susanna Martinez.
Sandoval’s signature contributes to a growing bipartisan consensus regarding conversion therapy bans. Remarkably, a full half of state bans on the practice were signed by Republican governors, albeit in blue-to-purple states: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Illinois’, and Chris Christie signed New Jersey’s shortly before his fall from grace. These governors obviously view the bans as good politics and good law. Yet Republicans in Congress continue to oppose federal legislation outlawing conversion therapy for minors with near uniformity.
This gap between Republican governors and the congressional GOP isn’t entirely surprising. Sandoval, Martinez, Rauner, and Christie were each presented a proposed ban and given two choices: Sign it or veto it. A veto would have created a publicity nightmare by handing Democrats—who, by and large, sponsored the bills in the first place—a winning talking point: We oppose torture; the governor does not. For each governor, quickly and quietly approving the ban was almost certainly the smartest political option. – Slate.com
The Republicans as a whole do not support banning conversion therapy. The 2016 Republican Party platform opposed conversion therapy bans for minors. They would rather side on the rights of the parents to control the medical treatment of their children. Other very red states like New Hampshire have not come close to a conversion therapy ban win. And we all know that many Republicans are still against marriage equality, transgender rights, and even adoption by same-sex partners.
None of the bills passes by Republican governors have targeted religious counselors or parents, but more so counselors and medical offices that are public in nature. States have agreed to suspend or revoke licenses of therapists who perform conversion therapy.
So why are the Republicans helping us win this tough battle state by state? Do they finally realize, yes, I'll say it, we are born this way?
Do we want to give Republican governors credit for making these bills officially into laws? Hell yes! But we cannot forget all the Democrats, Independents, and everyone else that have worked so hard to protect LGBT youth.
Nevada, Connecticut, New Mexico, California, Vermont, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and the District of Columbia all outlaw conversion therapy for minors.