LGBTQ conversion therapy bill is dead in the Utah State Legislature

Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 06, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill banning conversion therapy on LGBTQ children will not be heard in the Utah State Legislature.

The House of Representatives wiped the board, sending all bills that have yet to be debated back to the Rules Committee. House Bill 399‘s sponsor, Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, told FOX 13 he did not plan to bring it back.

“I respect my colleagues and their discussions and thoughts on the bill,” he said. “We knew that this would be a little bit of an uphill battle, of course, and sometimes bills pass and sometimes they don’t. We look forward to continuing to discussing this issue over the summer and hope that we can one day find some good language that everyone can agree on.”

Rep. Hall said he had hope that all sides could reach an agreement, but he did not see a path forward for the bill this year.

HB399 has been contentious. It was dramatically altered during a House Judiciary Committee hearing to remove an all-out ban on conversion therapy. Instead, only physically abusive practices were removed and gender identity was stripped out. Rep. Hall said the bill was changed so much that he could not support it anymore.

The fallout from the changes prompted Troy Williams, the director of the LGBTQ rights group Equality Utah, and Taryn Hiatt of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to quit Governor Gary Herbert’s youth suicide task force. They said the governor’s endorsement of the changes amounted to turning his back on LGBTQ children.