Oregon Panel Considers Bill Banning 'Gay Conversion Therapy'

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon gay rights group is asking the state Legislature to outlaw therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of young people.

A state House panel heard testimony on the measure Monday. It's promoted by Basic Rights Oregon, a nonprofit gay and transgender advocacy group from Portland.

The measure is part of a national push to prevent mental health care providers from practicing so-called conversion therapy. A dozen other states are pushing for similar legislation, which already exists in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C.

Proponents of the measure say there is no scientific basis the therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. They also say it often leads to feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts or anxiety in children.

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