HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1789

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to minors.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. Major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly forty years.

The American Psychological Association convened a task force on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation. The task force conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts. The task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicide, substance abuse, and other negative feelings and behaviors.

The legislature further finds that other studies confirm the serious health risks that minors face when they experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation. In one study, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported high levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection. The legislature therefore concludes that all minors, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender minors who experience family rejection, should be protected against sexual orientation change efforts by teachers and counseling professionals.

The purpose of this Act is to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Sexual orientation change efforts prohibited. (a) No teacher shall engage in sexual orientation change efforts on a student under eighteen years of age.

(b) Any teacher who engages in sexual orientation change efforts on a student under eighteen years of age shall be subject to disciplinary action by the department.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "sexual orientation change efforts" means the practice of attempting to change a person's sexual orientation, including but not limited to efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions; or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.

"Sexual orientation change efforts" shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another or counseling that:

(1) Provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and

(2) Does not seek to change sexual orientation."

SECTION 3. Chapter 436B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"436B-   Sexual orientation change efforts prohibited. (a) No person who is licensed to provide professional counseling, including but not limited to a physician specializing in the practice of psychiatry, physician assistant, psychologist, social worker, mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person's professional training for any of these professions, shall engage in sexual orientation change efforts on a person under eighteen years of age.

(b) Any person who is licensed to provide professional counseling and attempts to engage in sexual orientation change efforts on a person under eighteen years of age shall be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate professional licensing authority.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "sexual orientation change efforts" means the practice of attempting to change a person's sexual orientation, including but not limited to efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions; or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender. "Sexual orientation change efforts" shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition from one gender to another or counseling that:

(1) Provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and

(2) Does not seek to change sexual orientation."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Conversion Therapy; Sexual Orientation; Minors

 

Description:

Prohibits teachers and persons who are licensed to provide professional counseling from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under eighteen years of age.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.