Photo by Nicole Jennings

Photo by Nicole Jennings

LGBTQ bills advance in the senate

One bill would discourage conversation therapy, while the other would encourage equitable treatment for elderly members of the LGTBQ community.

Two LGBTQ rights bills passed the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on Tuesday.

SB 5722 bans the practice of any form of therapy that intends to change a person’s sexual orientation, commonly known as conversion therapy.

“This is a critical policy,” Committee Chair Senator Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, said. “It’s critically important to better ensure that we prevent any pain and suffering particularly for children in our state.”

Co-sponsor of the bill Senator Ann Rivers, R-Lewisville said she originally signed on to the bill to allow it a chance for conversation and research. However, she advised a no vote on the bill saying child abuse statutes were already in place to protect children from bad practice and that parents should have a right to seek multiple options of therapy.

“I have a grave concern that we will have a chilling effect in our psychiatric community,” Rivers told lawmakers.

The bill passed out of committee and moves to the rules committee next.

Another bill, SB 5700, requires long term healthcare providers and workers to undergo one hour of training on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, or LGBTQ, residents and patients. The bill’s substitute adds onto the bill a mandate for owners and administration for assisted living homes to undergo two hours of training on their next license renewal date.

The department of health and social services is in charge of developing a training curriculum.

Senator Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island is the bill’s prime sponsor.

“No one wants to be discriminatory but some folks don’t have the understanding and training they need,” he said at the bill’s hearing on Thursday.

Patricia Mcintyre, a trainer for Tacoma Older LGBT and Generations Aging with Pride, said that older LGBTQ adults sometimes recieve a lower quality of care, are afraid to disclose their sexual orientation, or delay treatment based on fear of discrimination.

John Ficker, executive director of the Adult Family Home Council said he supports the bill but has some concerns. He urged lawmakers to consider the way the training is phased into existing training to ensure a smooth transition. He also expressed concerns about how employees will be compensated for training, who pays for the training, and allowing the assisted living homes enough time to put a curriculum in place.

Rivers urged the committee to vote no on this bill. She expressed concern over specializing certain groups of patients over others and said that healthcare professionals already receive non-discriminatory training.

“I think it’s critical to ensure that training specific to the needs of the LGBTQ patients are met,” Cleveland said urging the committee to vote yes.

The majority voted to advance the bill to the rules committee.

This report was produced by the Olympia bureau of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

More in Northwest

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Boeing says decision on new airplane will come this year

With the 737 Max crisis far from over, there was speculation that a 797 decision might be delayed.

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn sent a letter to the FBI asking for them to help investigate Allan Thomas (pictured), who is under investigation for stealing more than $400,000 of public funds and skirting election laws in an Enumclaw drainage district. Screenshot from King 5 report
King County Council requests report on special districts in wake of fraud allegations

Small, local special districts will face more scrutiny following Enumclaw drainage district case.

Cherry blossoms bloom in April at the Washington State Capitol. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislature adjourns on time with new budget, more money for education

Total spending is $52.4 billion; includes levy lid lift for school districts and some tax increases.

Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649 on April 19. The law revises the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Hits and misses from Legislature’s 2019 session

New laws target vaccines, sex crimes and daylight savings; losers include sex ed and dwarf tossing bills.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to protesting nurses on April 24 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Inslee indicated he would sign the bill for meal and rest breaks into law if it passes both chambers. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Lawmakers approve ‘nursing bill’ for mandatory meal and rest breaks

Nurses show up in Olympia to support bill, protest Sen. Walsh’s remarks.

Colton Harris-Moore, known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” as seen on a GoFundMe page where he sought to raise $125,000 for flight training. (GoFundMe)
‘Barefoot Bandit’ asks judge to shorten his supervised release

Colton Harris-Moore says travel restrictions are holding back a lucrative public-speaking career.

USPS district manager Darrell Stoke, Janie Hendrix and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) unveil the plaque honorarily naming the Renton Highlands Post Office as the “James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix Post Office” on Friday, April 19. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Highlands Post Office honors Jimi Hendrix

Postal Service connected Hendrix to family during his Army service.

Walkers rest amid the trees at Island Center Forest on Vashon Island, which is part of King County. Many trees around Western Washington are struggling, including Western hemlock on Vashon, likely from drought stress. Photo by Susie Fitzhugh
King County forests are facing new challenges

Hot, dry summers are stressing native tree species in Western Washington.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

Federal Way resident competes for top 20 spot on ‘American Idol’

Todd Beamer senior Myra Tran previously won “The X-Factor Vietnam” in 2016.