After a year of advocating the law, Delaware Governor John Carney officially signed a new bill on Monday, July 24 prohibiting licensed mental health workers from practicing gay conversion therapy on LGBTQIA+ minors. This would make the Atlantic northeastern state the 15th state to ban the practice for youths along with others such as Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, and Washington D.C. As of April 2018, more than 50 bills in 24 states nationwide have been introduced in state legislatures that would restrict the practice.
While the liberal state may be advancing this particular policy, the Democratic majority state legislature, the Democratic state secretary of education, and the Democratic governor have faced criticism when it comes to protecting transgender youths.
The state’s Department of Education recently re-wrote anti-discrimination regulations that were originally meant to protect transgender students in Delaware schools. Originally, students would be allowed to self-identify their own gender without parental notification from a school. Now, schools must notify parents before recognizing a transgender student’s gender self-identity. Many pro-LGBTQIA+ organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Transgender Equality have said that this policy may increase the risk of mental health issues, suicide, and homelessness among those with different gender identities and expression.
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