Public comment period opens again for proposed LGBTQ conversion therapy ban

SALT LAKE CITY — The proposed rules banning conversion therapy on LGBTQ children have been published, opening another round of public comment.

The rules were formally published over the weekend in the Utah State Bulletin, marking the start of a 30-day public comment period.

Conversion therapy is a widely discredited practice that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  LGBTQ rights groups and suicide prevention advocates have urged a ban to combat the state’s high youth suicide epidemic.

The rules basically mirror a bill that was introduced in the Utah State Legislature earlier this year to a lot of fanfare, but failed to pass. It prompted protests, and prodded the governor to issue a directive to Utah’s Department of Commerce to propose rules, bypassing the legislature.

The rules were previously subject to public comment, which was overwhelmingly in favor of a ban. However, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, raised concerns that the rules didn’t address religious or parental rights.

As FOX 13 first reported, the revised rule came about as a result of negotiations between LGBTQ rights groups, suicide prevention advocates, legislative leaders and even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once the public comment period closes, Utah’s Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing and the Utah Department of Commerce can adopt the rule, modify it or send it back for further revisions. However, Gov. Herbert and legislative leaders have expressed optimism they will be adopted.

Read the proposed conversion therapy ban rules here: 

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