In an attempt to rebrand himself a champion of equality, Virginia State Sen. Bill DeSteph touted a singular endorsement of an openly gay Virginia Councilman in a Facebook post last week, despite his lengthy record of voting against LGBT equality in Virginia, including his ongoing support of harmful conversion therapy practices.

According to a review by American Ledger, in January 2019, DeSteph voted in favor of SB 1778, a bill that would allow for psychological conversion therapy to be practiced upon minors in Virginia. The American Psychological Association is opposed to conversion therapy, stating it poses significant risk of harm to LGBT individuals, including elevating the risk for potential suicide.

The same month of his vote to support conversion therapy practices, DeSteph also voted against legislation to repeal a Virginia constitutional amendment which strictly defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.

And three years earlier, in February 2016, DeSteph voted in favor of HB 773, a bill that would have permitted businesses and individuals to discriminate against LGBT couples based on their personal beliefs.

In November, DeSteph is running for reelection to represent Virginia’s 8th District in the State Senate.

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