Conversion therapy; prohibited by certain health care providers. (SB245)

Introduced By

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Conversion therapy prohibited. Prohibits any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age. The bill defines "conversion therapy" as any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. "Conversion therapy" does not include counseling that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition, or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such counseling does not seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill provides that no state funds shall be expended for the purpose of conducting conversion therapy, referring a person for conversion therapy, extending health benefits coverage for conversion therapy, or awarding a grant or contract to any entity that conducts conversion therapy or refers individuals for conversion therapy. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/05/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101218D
01/05/2018Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/18/2018Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


ACLU-VA LGBT Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports this legislation that protects minors under 18 from being forced to undergo so-called "conversion therapy" to change them from LGBTQ to "straight."

JoAnne Norton writes:

Dick Black erroneously reported the findings of Dr Spitzer of Columbia University in the Committee on Education and Health.

Pasting the above link will give you the lengthy detailed report of Dr Spitzer's repudiation of his previous testimony.

I knew a person who had this therapy. He is still gay.