A pair of Democratic lawmakers want to ban Pennsylvania's mental health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of gay minors.
State Reps. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) and Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) said Tuesday they plan to introduce a bipartisan bill to ban anti-gay "conversion therapy" for minors.
"Just last month, New Jersey's Republican governor and Democratic legislature worked together to ban this practice," said Sims, the first openly gay candidate elected to the General Assembly. "The governor there cited 'a litany of potential ill effects of trying to change sexual orientation, including depression and suicide.' California has also passed a similar law. Pennsylvania children deserve the same protection."
"When I became aware of what was involved in conversion therapy, I equated it to medical and parental bullying," Mullery said in a statement. "Children who were subjected to this so-called therapy suffer the same effects as children who were subjected to traditional bullying, including suicide, attempted suicide and low self-esteem."
State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) recently introduced a similar bill in the Senate.