By Dan Merica and Kate Sullivan, CNN, October 11, 2019
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas said on Thursday that conversion therapy "should be illegal" and compared the widely discredited practice that seeks to change the sexual orientation of gays, lesbians and bisexuals to torture.
"As president, we will seek to outlaw it everywhere in this country," the Democratic candidate said Thursday at an LGBTQ town hall hosted by CNN and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. "In my opinion, this is tantamount to torture. Torture that we're visiting on children who are absolutely defenseless."
So-called conversion therapies, sometimes referred to as reparative treatments, center on the debunked assumption that sexual orientation can be changed by a series of procedures. The practice is widely decried, and a number of states have made it illegal.