This week, a bill that would have banned parents from forcing their children to endure harmful “ex-gay” therapy failed in a Virginia House subcommittee.

The subcommittee heard testimony from several people who had undergone the more-harmful-than-helpful procedure, some who described the trauma it caused them and others who claim it helped them. Ultimately the subcommittee did not give its reasons for voting the bill down.

Hope’s bill would have prohibited licensed medical professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation of a minor and would not have applied to clergy.

The subcommittee’s members did not say why they opposed the legislation.

"I think that people in Virginia still believe that homosexuality is some sort of mental disorder," Hope said after the vote. "But I think hearts and minds are changing every day…. And we’ll come back every year until this becomes law."

Sigh. Lost this battle, but the war certainly isn’t over. 



America’s current least favorite governor, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, has vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender people to change their gender markers without surgery.

Since 1984, New Jersey law has required that trans* folks have gender confirmation surgery in order to change the gender marker listed on their birth certificate. This bill would have relaxed those standards, allowing anyone who has undergone “clinically appropriate treatment” to receive a gender marker change, since not every trans* person has access to or the desire for surgery. 

But nope. Christie said that would create opportunities for ”fraud, deception and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved.” From ThinkProgress

Garden State Equality’s Troy Stevenson condemned the veto as a “vindictive move to punish the LGBT community,” highlighting that the bill would “have zero effect on anyone else.” Indeed, Christie’s vague allusions to fraud ironically mirror the kind of suspicion — and resulting invasive searches— that transgender people can experience when their identification does not reflect their appearance.

Unless the legislature manages to find the votes to overturn this veto, sterilizing and expensive surgery will still be required in New Jersey for transgender people to achieve full recognition.

I hate you so much, Chris Christie. So much.