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State LGBT advocates push for ban on conversion therapy for minors

HARTFORD -- Lawmakers and LGBT advocates gathered at the State Capitol Monday in support of a bill to ban so-called “conversion therapy” for children in the state.

Conversion therapy is a process designed to change a LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Opponents of the practice describe it as “dehumanizing.”

Numerous professional medical and psychological groups publicly state the practice bears no basis in science and there’s no evidence the procedures actually work.

“Kids feel self-destructive, kids cutting, kids using substances, trying everything they can to not be who they are and, that ultimately, it doesn’t work,” said Robin McHaelen, a social worker with True Colors CT.​

After a press conference, opponents sounded off saying the law isn’t necessary as the therapy methods aren’t as widespread as portrayed.

“It looks to us like this is a particularly strong gay lobby in the state of CT flexing its muscles,” said Peter Wolfgang, Executive Director of the Family Institute of CT. “I think it’s a waste of time to have a public hearing, have a press conference, have all this energy to outlaw something that doesn’t actually exist in the state of CT.”

Testimony will be heard Tuesday morning at a public hearing on the proposed bill at the State Capitol.