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Ban on aversion therapy for minors stopped from advancing on Senate floor

by caprecord

A bill that would have banned aversion therapy for minors — including electric shock and ice baths — was stopped from moving forward on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Bill sponsor Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, tried to bring Senate Bill 5870 to the Senate floor for a vote in a procedural move, but Senators declined to continue considering the bill, 22-27.

Opponents of aversion therapy say it has been used often to try to convert gay teenagers to straight.

“I am appalled that the Republican majority killed legislation to protect kids from electric shock, ice baths, and other physical and emotional abuse, simply because they’re gay. We need to end conversion therapy once and for all,” Liias said in a prepared statement.

The bill originally passed the Senate unanimously in March, after references calling out sexual orientation change efforts were removed from the bill language. Then the House added talk conversion therapy into the ban.

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, urged members to vote against Liias’ procedural move to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

“I believe this bill is significantly different than when it left this body and is still what we call a work-in-progress,” he said.