Jan 22, 2020

Utah becomes 19th state to ban conversion therapy for minors

An LGBTQ pride flag at a Union United Methodist Church in Boston on Jan. 5, 2020. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Utah on Tuesday became the 19th state to ban conversion therapy for minors, though the state's ban does not apply to religious counselors, parents or grandparents, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Utah is one of the most conservative states in the U.S. to pass legislation banning conversion therapy on minors in some form.

The big picture: The state's measure, which bans licensed therapists from using conversion therapy on minors, was proposed by Republican Gov. Gary Herbert in November.

  • Conversion therapy can cause depression and anxiety, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and is linked to homelessness, drug use and suicide for LGBTQ youth.
  • It is difficult to estimate what proportion of conversion therapy in Utah is performed by parents or religious counselors, as opposed to state-licensed therapists, Troy Williams, executive director at the civil rights organization Equality Utah, told the Times.

Go deeper: Google pulls "conversion therapy" app amid pressure from LGBTQ groups

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Exclusive: Bloomberg unveils LGBTQ equality plan

Bloomberg campaigns in Minneapolis on Jan. 23. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg is releasing his LGBTQ equality plan on Tuesday, aligning with other Democratic presidential candidates' calls to return to Obama-era protections that President Trump has moved to undo.

Why it matters: One aspect of the platform shared with Axios — calling for law enforcement training to protected transgender people of color — may have particular resonance given Bloomberg's past support of "stop and frisk" policing, which hindered his early standing with minority voters.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

The states seeking bans on transgender minors' medical treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

At least eight states have considered bills that, if passed, would outlaw transgender minors' access to gender-affirming medical treatments.

The latest: A South Dakota Senate committee on Monday killed a bill that would have punished medical professionals with a $2,000 fine and a year in prison if they treated transgender minors with puberty blockers, hormone therapies or gender-related surgeries, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Zolgensma's lucrative Q4

Novartis said yesterday that Zolgensma — the gene therapy that's the most expensive drug in the world — brought in $186 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, STAT reports.

Why it matters: It suggests that the drug's enormous price tag isn't blocking patients from accessing it, although the costs are ultimately borne through premiums and by taxpayers.

Go deeperArrowJan 30, 2020