Without licenses, conversion therapists in Arizona operate with relative impunity.

A national organization is tracking more than 90 active conversion therapists in Arizona, majority of whom do not have a license.

Without licenses, conversion therapists in Arizona operate with relative impunity.
Illustration by Adobe Studios

For years, Elena Joy Thurston thought love wasn't real, and everyone else was faking it. So in 2017, when she realized she had feelings for another woman, she was elated. 

Conversion therapists operate without licenses by LOOKOUT + KJZZ

“All of a sudden falling in love, feeling all those things that they talked about in romance novels and movies and such, and actually realizing it was—people actually do experience this,” she said. 

But Elena was a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and she was already married to a man. For three weeks, Elena secretly texted and met up with the woman she fell for. When her husband found out, Elena believed she had to confess and repent to her Bishop;  If he forgave her, she would be free of sin.

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