By Associated Press - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate has passed a bill that would ban mental health providers in Iowa from practicing therapy aimed at converting the sexual orientation of a minor.

The Senate voted 26-24 Tuesday along a straight party line. It now heads to the House, where it’s unclear what kind of support it will get.

The bill would prohibit a licensed mental health provider from offering therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person under 18 years old. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat, says the legislation will protect young people from therapy that has been discredited by several medical groups.

Sen. Julian Garrett, an Indianola Republican, opposed the bill. He says parents and minors should be able to pursue the professional medical care of their choice.

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