Iowa Senate expected to take up bill to ban conversion therapy

Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 9:57 AM CST
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Iowa Senate President Charles Schneider said lawmakers could be taking up a bill to ban conversion therapy in the state.

Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. All types of conversion therapy in Iowa are allowed, including electroshock therapy.

Schneider told Des Moines station WOI he's 'open' to the bill to ban the therapy.

"Different states have done it in different ways. I think the way the bill is written will impact on how much support it can get," he said.

A similar bill stalled in the house a few years ago.

Speaker-elect Pat Grassley told WOI he had been hearing rumors about legislation regarding conversion therapy, but that he had not had any specific conversations with any members of the House.

“As the leader of the caucus, I don’t think it’s my job to tell them what they should and should not be allowed to talk about,” said Grassley. “And I also am not going to sit here, make any predictions on what the result of that meeting may be.”

The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have both opposed conversion or “reparative” therapy.

The 2020 legislative session begins Jan. 13.