Utah became the 19th state to ban conversion therapy. There are efforts to make Iowa next.
Nate Monson, the executive director of GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force (also known as Iowa Safe Schools), wrote an op-ed almost a year ago in the Des Moines Register about banning conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy can be something as simple as religious prayer. Sometimes it may be talk therapy. In rare cases, it can include therapy where people try to attach a negative stimulus to an action.
However, instances of “electroshock” therapy in Iowa weren’t mentioned during a 2015 subcommittee in the Iowa Senate on banning conversion therapy. It is not known if that practice happens in Iowa at all anymore.
But that doesn’t stop the LGBTQ activists from attacking conversion therapy.
Monson wrote that conversion therapy is “prehistoric” and “dangerous.”
“Simply put, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer is not a choice and cannot be changed,” Monson said.
In Monson’s op-ed, he only highlights the extreme and rare versions of conversion therapy. He included institutionalization, castration, physical and sexual abuse, and electroshock therapy. He then lumped in camps where youth are sent to “pray hard enough until their sexual orientation or gender identity changes.”
“Those camps still exist in the United States,” he wrote. “Conversion therapy often happens in an unregulated sphere where parents are pressure into ‘fixing’ their child.”
Monson called for supporting last year’s conversion therapy ban, which would’ve banned any effort to change someone’s gender identity or homosexual orientation. And the ban would have applied to anyone, not just minors.
The only counseling allowed under the ban would provide acceptance, support and understanding or counseling those seeking to transition from one gender to another.