SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints has some concerns about attempts to ban conversion therapy in Utah.
The church issued a statement saying it opposes a proposed professional licensing rule in its current form and it requests that it be “appropriately amended to address the concerns.”
The church says the proposed rule is “ambiguous in key areas” and “overreaches in others.”
“It fails to protect individual religious beliefs and does not account for important realities of gender identity in the development of children,” the church claims.
“We teach the right of individuals to self-determination and the right of parents to guide the development of their children. We also believe faith-based perspectives have an important and ethically appropriate role in professional counseling,” said the church in a statement.
Equality Utah, the state’s most prominent LGBTQ rights organization, called the church’s statement “profoundly disappointing.”
“The proposed rule would do nothing more than protect LGBTQ children from conversion therapy—a life-threatening practice that has been condemned by all of the state’s and the nation’s medical and mental health authorities. Studies have found that more than 60% of children subjected to conversion therapy attempt suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death among Utah’s children, and LGBTQ youth are especially vulnerable. It’s long past time to protect our state’s youth by prohibiting this dangerous practice,” said Troy Williams, Executive Director of Equality Utah.