For Immediate Release
March 24, 2018
Contact: Vicky Bruce, Communications Director
District 30 Senate Candidate Chrissy Holt calls for lawmakers to pass legislation introduced by Senator Richard Madaleno and Delegate Bonnie Collision to ban healthcare providers from practicing conversion therapy on Maryland’s children (Bills HB902 and SB1028).
While this harmful and disturbing practice is condemned by American Psychiatric
Association and banned in 10 states including Washington, D.C., conversion therapy is still fully legal in Maryland.
“Maryland was progressive enough to be one of the first states to legalize gay marriage, and we absolutely must be progressive enough to fully ban such an inhumane, hateful, and intolerant practice against our LGBTQ+ citizens,” Holt said.
Holt says that conversion therapy should not remotely include the word ‘therapy,’ when the practice involves emotional and physical abuse, sometimes including subjecting a child to extreme temperatures and electric shock. “The practices are as discredited as they are dangerous,” she says.
LGBTQ youth already have disproportionately high rates of depression, suicide, self-harm, homelessness, and substance abuse. Many experts believe that conversion therapy has the potential to increase the chances of a child becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is concerning to Holt, who works tirelessly on recovery legislation, addiction and health care legislation.
According to a report by UCLA, around 20,000 children will undergo conversion therapy in states without bans if lawmakers fail to pass protections.
“In 2018, Maryland should in no way allow children to be abused for something that they cannot control -- something as simple and harmless as who they will love.”
Holt says that Maryland lawmakers have a duty to protect and advance the rights of all their citizens.
“I support all legislation that will protect our LGBTQ citizens and restore their rights to them,” said Holt. “Equality is a central part of my campaign and passing these bills are only the first steps towards ensuring a better future for all of our constituents.”