San Diego, Calif., Nov 25, 2019 / 12:01 pm
The American Medical Association announced last week that it had adopted a number of new policies, including advocacy for a federal ban on “so-called reparative or conversion therapy for sexual orientation or gender identity.”
During the AMA interim meeting held in San Diego, the group's policy-making body chose to “develop model state legislation” to ban health care providers from efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity,” the group said in a Nov. 19 statement.
“The support for legislative bans strengthens AMA’s long-standing opposition to this unscientific practice,” the medical association said.
Dr. William Kobler, an AMA board member, said that “conversion therapy has no foundation as scientifically valid medical care and lacks credible evidence to support its efficacy or safety” and that “it is clear to the AMA that the conversion therapy needs to end in the United States given the risk of deliberate harm to LGBTQ people.”
According to the group, conversion therapy for minors has been banned by 18 states and the District of Columbia.
One of the most recent states to have adopted such as ban is Massachusetts. Its law was signed in April.
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference opposed the legislation, saying it “attempts to create a solution to a problem which does not exist,” adding that it will “deny the right of parents to engage therapists who could help their child who is experiencing gender dysphoria and is confused and uncomfortable with this experience.”
Massachusetts' law defines the banned activities as “any practice by a health care provider that attempts or purports to impose change of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including but not limited to efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”