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Gov. Herbert proposes new rule banning conversion therapy on minors

File: Utah State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert wants a new rule to govern conversion therapy programs in Utah. Namely, he wants to ban the practice on minors.

A statement forwarded to KSL NewsRadio indicates that the Governor has directed the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Utah Department of Commerce, to file a new rule banning conversion therapy on minors.

It would use the existing language in H.B. 399, which was presented by Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, during the 2019 General Legislative Session.  The ban would apply to all licensed therapists that practice in Utah.

“I have learned much through this process,” the governor said via the statement.

The stories of youth who have endured these so-called therapies are heart rending, and I’m grateful that we have found a way forward that will ban conversion therapy forever in our state.

The proposed new rule has the support of Republican Stuart Adams, president of the Utah Senate; Troy Williams, the executive director of Equality Utah; and Francis Giani, the executive director of the Department of Commerce, among others.

The new rule also has the endorsement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We are opposed to conversion therapy and our therapists do not practice it. However, we are grateful for the clarifications the new rule provides, and we support its adoption,” said Marty Stephens, director of government relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We thank the governor, his staff and the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for finding a good solution which will work for all concerned.”

The proposal of the new rule may bring to an end the conflicts around the technical language proposed in H.B. 399. Nearly 2,500 people provided input during a public comment period that is now closed.