Iowa Board of Medicine Considering Conversion Therapy Ban

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A central Iowa man is claiming doctors used a controversial procedure on him hoping it would turn him straight.

“Every single time a picture of a naked man would show up, I would be shocked. It would literally just shock me,” said Sam Brinton. “Then whenever a picture of a woman would come up, nothing would happen. A picture of man would show up and I would get shocked.”

Conversion therapy is legal in Iowa. The therapy is a method used in an effort to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Advocates and members of the LGBT community want it banned for people under the age of 18. They petitioned to the Iowa Board of Medicine on Friday saying the therapy is damaging, abusive and ineffective.

But the social conservative group, the Family Leader, says otherwise.

“I would encourage you to be very careful about limiting the therapy that is available to parents and children who are perhaps struggling with the same sex attractions that they don’t want,” said vice president, Chuck Hurley. “There are those who do want help with those things and for you to limit and punish doctors who offer that would be a big mistake.”

The board received the petition at the end of February and has 60 days to either deny it or make changes. The board opted to deny the petition in order to gain more information about the topic. Members will meet in again in about six months to a year to make a final decision.

Advocates and members of the LGBT community also plan to take the issue to the state legislature in 2017.