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Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor signed on Tuesday an executive order banning conversion therapy not only for minors but for people of all ages. In addition, the order encourages the promotion of “evidence-based practices for supporting LGBTQ people.” In addition, the order also “directs the Department of Human Services, among other agencies, to ensure that state funds are not being used to provide or reimburse for conversion therapy,” NBC News reports.

“Reparative” or “conversion therapy” is a dangerous practice that aims to change a person’s—usually the LGBTQ youth—sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to align with heterosexual and cisgender norms. To learn more about the dangers of conversion therapy, read here.

“Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat,” said Gov. Tom Wolf in a statement. “This discriminatory practice is widely rejected by medical and scientific professionals and has been proven to lead to worse mental health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ youth subjected to it. This is about keeping our children safe from bullying and extreme practices that harm them.”

Further, Gov. Tom Wolf also said during the signing of the executive order: “You can stand up and tell the LGBTQ youth that we hear them. We accept them exactly as they are. They matter. They belong. And we are going to protect them.” Watch CBS Philly’s report below:

Conversion therapy has been denounced by many organizations such as the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, World Health Organization, and American Medical Association to name a few.

In the United States, on the other hand, around 20 states have already banned conversion therapy for minors. These states are Utah, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, The District of Columbia, and Maine. To check the complete list, click here.

Meanwhile, other countries that ban conversion therapy included France, Malta, Germany, Albania, Brazil, and Taiwan. 

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