Automatic voter registration passes in Rhode Island

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 20, 2017

Today, HRC hailed Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo for signing into law House Bill (HB) 5277 - a measure protecting LGBTQ youth in the state from the harmful and discredited practice of so-called "conversion therapy".

"Having clean voter lists is critical to preserving the integrity of our elections, which is why I made enacting Automatic Voter Registration a priority", Gorbea said.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a LGBTI rights organization, praised the governor's action.

The Rhode Island law states: "This act would prohibit "conversion therapy" by licensed health care professionals with respect to children under eighteen (18) years of age".

"No child should be put through the risky and inhumane practice of conversion therapy", said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. It is nothing short of child abuse.

Despite being overwhelmingly condemned by the medical community, only ten states have enacted bans on gay cure therapy - Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico, plus the District of Columbia.

'Conversion therapy, ' also known as 'reparative therapy, ' encompasses a range of practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the federal level, Senate Democrats recently re-introduced a bill which would federally ban the practice of gay "conversion" therapy. A majority of those cities are in Florida and Ohio. New Jersey was the second, banning it in 2013. Major medical and psychological institutions, including the American Psychological Association, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, widely reject conversion therapy.

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