Governor David Ige signed SB270, which prohibits therapists from offering “sexual orientation change efforts” or “conversion therapy” to patients under the age of 18.
The ban on “sexual orientation change efforts” includes the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The bill applies to licensed professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.
This measure also establishes a temporary sexual orientation counseling task force within the state Department of Health, which will address the concerns of minors who seek counseling on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or related behavior.
“Overwhelming scientific research has shown that ‘conversion therapy’ is not effective and frequently has lasting, harmful psychological impacts on minors. This practice is neither medically nor ethically appropriate. For our LGBT youth, this therapy often results in feelings of isolation, depression and hopelessness – and has no place in Hawai‘i, or in the lives of our youth,” said Gov. Ige.
SB270 becomes ACT 13 and takes effect on July 1, 2018.