HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Tuesday limiting state funding toward conversion therapy for the LGBTQ community.
The order directs state agencies to discourage the process and promote best practices to support LGBTQ people.
A study published in the journal JAMA Network says conversion therapy cost U.S. taxpayers more than $9 billion in 2021.
Michelle Dech, the executive director of the LGBT Center of Greater Reading, was in Harrisburg when Wolf signed the order.
"Most youth that goes through conversion therapy, they're twice as likely to attempt suicide," she said. "It's an ugly practice, and it's definitely outdated and needs to go away."
Dech said the practice is more prevalent in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. than most people realize.
Reading is one of 12 cities in the state to have banned conversion therapy.