New Mexico has become the latest state to ban the discredited practice of gay and lesbian conversion therapy—a practice that uses unconventional methods to change the way a person feels about a certain sex. The practice is widely seen as not effective, but it’s also known to cause more problems. The ban was signed by Republican Governor Susana Martinez on Friday, making it one of a handful of states (seven in total) to take action against this harmful practice. Senate Bill 122 was signed, according to Martinez, because she believes “certain practices” harm youths.
“I’ve spent my career fighting for kids, both as a prosecutor and as governor,” Martinez said. “It is for this reason that I sign Senate Bill 121, which bans certain practices that have been shown to cause harm to children.” She continued: “I do not lightly enact legislation that makes government a party to the medical care decision-making of a parent and child…Yet, at the same time, numerous reputable medical organizations like the American Psychological Association have rebuked this practice, stating it may lead to depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, self-hatred, substance abuse, and suicide.”
According to the Blade: “Approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature, SB122 amends the state law to include use of conversion therapy on a minor as reason to deny, revoke or suspend licenses held by nurses, doctors and mental health experts. To recover the costs of investigations leading to these decisions, the state may institute fines on these practitioners.”