Hawaii has become the 12th State in the US to ban so-called 'conversion therapy' for LGBTIQ+ youth, with Governor David Ige signing the protection into law late last week.
“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured,” Ige said as he signed the bill.
“We accept you and love you just the way you are.”
"Overwhelming scientific research has shown that 'conversion therapy' is not effective and frequently has lasting, harmful psychological impacts on minors," Gov. David Ige said in a press release.
He continued: "This practice is neither medically or ethically appropriate."
“We’re seeing significant momentum to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, and The Trevor Project calls on even more states to join Hawaii in banning this barbaric practice,” said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project - a national group providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for queer youth.
LGBTIQ+ organisations and 'conversion therapy' survivors were quick to celebrate the move as a win.
'Conversion therapy' survivor Mathew Shurka recalled his experience with the practice, which has been labelled pseudoscience .
"I was diagnosed with addiction to other males. They categorised it as addiction. And they said I had too many female role models in my life. As part of my treatment, I wasn't able to speak to my mom or two sisters for three years," Shurka said, according to Hawaii News Now.
"I wasn't willing to lose my life over this. I wasn't willing to lose my family over this. This is what conversion therapy is really doing. It's tearing apart families."