Utah set to become 19th state banning ‘conversion therapy’

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is set to become the 19th state to ban the discredited practice of conversion therapy after state officials came up with a proposal that has the support of the influential Church of a Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday night that church leaders support a regulatory rule his office helped craft after legislative efforts for a ban on the therapy failed.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change peoples’ sexual orientation or gender identity.

The faith known widely as the Mormon church opposed a previous version of the rule because it wanted assurances that church leaders and members who are therapists would be allowed to provide spiritual counseling for parishioners or families.

The faith teaches that same-sex relationships are a sin.