Virginia bans conversion therapy for minors

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Northam signed 68 bills in all on Tuesday as the 2020 General Assembly session begins to come to an end

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, and Virginia House of Delegates speaker-designate, Eileen Filler-Corn, front right, are surrounded by Democratic Legislators as he outlines his legislative agenda at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia is outlawing the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he had signed into law that bans licensed therapists and counselors from subjecting minors to the practice. The legislation passed the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said he was proud to sign the bill into law.

“No one should be made to feel they are not okay the way they are — especially not a child,” Northam said.

The American Psychological Association has said conversion therapy is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide.

The Virginia law will go into effect July 1.

Northam signed 68 bills in all on Tuesday. The governor’s office provided a list of the measures: 

  • Senate Bill 107: Transient occupancy tax; removes the July 1, 2021, sunset date from Arlington County’s authority to impose such a tax. This bill is identical to House Bill 62.
  • Senate Bill 140: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public institutions of higher education; information related to pledges and donations. As introduced, the bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. This bill is identical to House Bill 510.
  • Senate Bill 163: Entitlement to sales tax revenues from certain public facilities; authorized localities. This bill is identical to House Bill 906.
  • Senate Bill 211: Reporting of payments by third-party settlement organizations. This bill is identical to House Bill 730.
  • Senate Bill 212: Alcoholic beverage control; annual mixed beverage performing arts facility license. This bill is identical to House Bill 598.
  • Senate Bill 269: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; proprietary records and trade secrets; affordable housing loan applications. This bill is identical to House Bill 722.
  • Senate Bill 273: Tangible personal property tax; classes of property, satellites. This bill is identical to House Bill 724.
  • Senate Bill 519: Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; cemeteries; exemptions. This bill is identical to House Bill 950.
  • Senate Bill 583: Virginia Spirits Board; established, report.
  • Senate Bill 685: Tax exemption for certified pollution control equipment and facilities; timing of certification by the state certifying authority. This bill is identical to House Bill 1173.
  • Senate Bill 689Alcoholic beverage control; privileges of local special events licensees. This bill is identical to House Bill 949.
  • Senate Bill 701: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and Virginia Freedom of Information Act; training requirements; executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities. This bill is identical to House Bill 1527.
  • Senate Bill 703: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities; penalty. This bill is identical to House Bill 1528.
  • Senate Bill 727: Real estate tax exemption for property in redevelopment or conservation areas or rehabilitation districts. This bill is identical to House Bill 537.
  • Senate Bill 981: Professions and occupations; expediting the issuance of credentials to spouses of military service members.
  • House Bill 61: Adults sentenced for juvenile offenses; good conduct credit. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference and is identical to Senate Bill 307.
  • House Bill 63: Court of Appeals; use of moot courtroom of accredited law schools. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 1002.
  • House Bill 65: Establishment of the Virginia Missing Child with Autism Alert Program. 
  • House Bill 117: Virginia Geographic Information Network Advisory Board; increases membership. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 127.
  • House Bill 134: Individualized education program teams; Department of Education to develop guidelines. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 186.
  • House Bill 136: Bail bondsman; deposit for surrender of principal for reasons other than principal’s failure to appear. This bill incorporates House Bill 138.
  • House Bill 137: Guardians ad litem for children; certification of compliance with certain standards.
  • House Bill 165: Teledentistry; definition, establishes requirements for the practice of teledentistry, etc.
  • House Bill 166: Hearing notice by localities; timely notice related to planning or zoning matter to newspaper, etc.
  • House Bill 174: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures for a buyer to beware; marine clays.
  • House Bill 175: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; required disclosures for a buyer to beware; radon gas. 
  • House Bill 210: Historical African American cemeteries; adds a cemetery in Montgomery County and City of Radford.
  • House Bill 287: Department of Social Services; central registry; retention of records.
  • House Bill 292: School boards and local law-enforcement agencies; memorandums of understanding; frequency of review and public input. This bill incorporates House Bill 897 and House Bill 1135 and is identical to Senate Bill 221.
  • House Bill 299: Potable water; purified water bottle filling station in every public school.
  • House Bill 305: Circuit court clerk’s fee; lodging of wills.
  • House Bill 306: Fees collected by circuit court clerks for recording and indexing; use of fee in preserving permanent records of the circuit courts.
  • House Bill 313: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; library records.
  • House Bill 314: Historical African American cemeteries; adds a cemetery in Loudoun County.
  • House Bill 362: Physician assistant; capacity determinations. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 544.
  • House Bill 365: Public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service; performance evaluation. This bill incorporates House Bill 1169 and House Bill 1326 and is identical to Senate Bill 98.
  • House Bill 404: Public libraries; providing an essential service to communities of the Commonwealth.
  • House Bill 436: Establishment of the Virginia Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearms List; penalty. 
  • House Bill 446: Department of General Services; disposition of surplus materials; donation of surplus computers; United States military.
  • House Bill 452: Virginia Public Procurement Act; small purchases. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 650.
  • House Bill 471Health professionals; unprofessional conduct; reporting. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 540.
  • House Bill 510: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public institutions of higher education; information related to pledges and donations. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 140.
  • House Bill 516: Public schools; diploma requirements; dual enrollment and work-based learning options. This bill incorporates House Bill 112 and is identical to Senate Bill 112.
  • House Bill 517: Collaborative practice agreements; adds nurse practitioners and physician assistants to list. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 565.
  • House Bill 518: Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act; disclosures for a buyer to beware; residential building energy analysis. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Housing Commission. The bill incorporates House Bill 574 and is identical to Senate Bill 628.
  • House Bill 543: Electric power-assisted bicycles; amends definition. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 871.
  • House Bill 544: Department of General Services; public posting of contract information on central electronic procurement system. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 563.
  • House Bill 548: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; records of active investigations. 
  • House Bill 570: Public school teachers; grounds for dismissal. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 167.
  • House Bill 595: Dealer’s license plate and special license plate combination; Department of Motor Vehicles may issue.
  • House Bill 722: Virginia Freedom of Information Act; exclusions; proprietary records and trade secrets; affordable housing loan applications. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 269.
  • House Bill 950: Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; cemeteries; exemptions. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 519
  • House Bill 967: Professions and occupations; expediting the issuance of credentials to spouses of military service members. This bill incorporates House Bill 930.
  • House Bill 993: Administration of government; boards and councils; cleanup.
  • House Bill 1098: Secretary of Administration; policy of the Commonwealth regarding employment of individuals with disabilities; report deadline.
  • House Bill 1198Virginia Board of Workforce Development; updates as a response to federal law.
  • House Bill 1337State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
  • House Bill 1341: Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Law; applicability. The bill is a recommendation of the Code Commission.
  • House Bill 1378: Signature defects on pleadings, motions, and other papers. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 229.
  • House Bill 1401: Landlord and tenant; remedy for unlawful ouster; ex parte issuance of order to recover possession.
  • House Bill 1490: Same-sex marriages; civil unions. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 17.
  • House Bill 1511: Towing fees; raises to $30 additional fee that can be charged for towing a vehicle at night, etc.
  • House Bill 1527State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and Virginia Freedom of Information Act; training requirements; executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 701.
  • House Bill 1528: State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; disclosure by executive directors and members of industrial development authorities and economic development authorities; penalty. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 703.
  • House Bill 1561: Fort Monroe Authority; civil actions in general district court. This bill is identical to Senate Bill 956.

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