The highly conservative state of Utah in America's west has become the 19th to ban so-called "conversion therapy", the discredited practice of trying to change a patient's sexual orientation.

The therapy is most often inflicted on LGBT+ youth to "convert" them from gay to straight.  It doesn't work, and has denounced by most US medical groups including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics (.pdf link) - have outright rejected conversion therapy as "futile and destructive."  LGBT+ teens already have a suicide rate higher than the rest of the population - the risk is more than double among teens who've undergone conversion therapy.

As the home base of the Church of the Latter Day Saints - aka the Mormons - Utah is not the place most observers would expect such legislation to take hold.  It took well more than a year to pass the law to protect LGBT+ young people.  Last year, Republicans had amended a similar piece of state legislation so badly that the bill's original sponsor wanted nothing more to do with it.

This time around, supporters had to agree to several exemptions in order to get it passed.  It only covers psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals.  The ban doesn't apply to clergy, religious counselors, parents or grandparents, so long as they're not acting as psychologists.