SALEM, Ore. -- The Oregon House has voted to outlaw a therapy that purports to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of young people.
The bill would make it illegal for social workers or licensed mental health professionals such as psychologists or psychiatrists to practice what’s called conversion therapy on children younger than 18.
Laws banning the therapy have passed in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C. Advocates say bills have been introduced in about two dozen more states.
Rep. Rob Nosse, a Portland Democrat, said the therapy has been widely discredited. He said the therapy can often lead to depression or anxiety in youths.
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The vote Tuesday was 41-18.
Opponents questioned whether the legislation would protect religious exemptions or free speech rights.