Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

D.C. Moves to Ban Controversial 'Conversion Therapy' for LGBT Youth

 / Updated 
File photo of activists celebrating two decisions by the US Supreme Court seen as victories for gay marriage.David Poller / Zuma Press, file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The Council of the District of Columbia on Tuesday approved a bill banning sexual orientation change efforts for minors, poising it to become the third jurisdiction in the nation to prohibit "conversion therapy" for youth.

The controversial practice has been banned in California and New Jersey. But before the legislation can become law in D.C., the district’s mayor and Congress have to review it.

Mental health providers violating the ban will be subject to discipline and penalties, according to the legislation.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights heralded the bill, saying conversion therapy practices can lead to severe depression and even suicide among youth.

“The Council has used its authority to protect our most vulnerable youth from dangerous and discredited pseudoscience that tells them who they are is wrong, and reaffirmed the consensus of every major medical and mental health organization that all children are born perfect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Samantha Ames, an NCLR staff attorney, said in a statement.

Christian ministry Exodus International, which led the so-called ex-gay movement, announced last year it would shut down, and its leader apologized extensively for causing "pain and hurt."

Mainstream psychiatric and medical groups had said the movement, also known as reparative therapy, was unfounded in science and can be harmful. The American Psychiatric Association said it could cause depression and anxiety in patients.

IN-DEPTH

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.