North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a statewide executive order on Friday, August 2 to block any state or federal public funds towards LGBTQIA+ conversion therapy programs or practices that often target mostly underaged minors.
While the state legislature is debating a proposed bill that would ban the practice overall, 18 states nationwide, the Caribbean Island territory of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. have banned LGBTQIA+ conversion therapy services or practices for minors under the age of 18 years old. Almost 45% of the national LGBTQIA+ population lives in states that have statutory laws banning conversion therapy for youthful minors. Meanwhile, more than 50% of the national LGBTQIA+ population lives in states with no laws or regulations banning or restricting conversion therapy for minors, mostly in the South and the Midwest.
North Carolina, a swing state in the South, has recently become one of the epicenters over LGBTQIA+ rights. In 2016, the conservative Republican majority state legislature based in Raleigh passed a law that stripped away local LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and prohibited transgender or non-cisgender individuals from using restrooms consistent with their own personal gender identity. After the initial public uproar during that same year, the legislature repealed certain portions of the law that targeted non-cisgender residents.
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