Hawaii lawmakers: ban gay conversion therapy for minors

Updated: Jan. 26, 2016 at 3:51 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are introducing a bill that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

The controversial treatment aims to turn gay teens heterosexual on the basis that being gay is an illness.

Opponents of the treatment say being gay is not a disorder. They say the ban would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens from harm caused by conversion therapy.

Studies say teens are more likely to attempt suicide if they've been rejected by their families due to their sexual orientation. They also may become depressed or use drugs.

The bill would make it illegal for teachers or counselors to try to change someone's sexual orientation. It would also ban advertising that promotes changing sexual orientation.

Several states including California, Oregon, New Jersey and Illinois have passed similar laws.

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