Equality Federation is supporting legislation in 20 states to protect youth from the harmful, unscientific, disproven practice of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion “therapy” efforts that are shockingly still in practice today.
It is clear we need to ban harmful conversion efforts. Give now to end the harm.
“In a sea of anti-LGBTQ legislation and attacks, this is an area where our movement has momentum and broad bipartisan support because this practice is so harmful and outrageous and something that no young person should be subjected to,” said Andy Garcia, Program Manager of Equality Federation.
Conversion therapy, known as reparative or ex-gay therapy in some circles, refers to the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity to fit heterosexual or cisgender standards and expectations. Every major medical and mental health association, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, condemns the practice because research concludes that so-called conversion therapy is extremely dangerous and does not work.
Amber Royster, Executive Director of Federation member Equality New Mexico is leading the charge against conversion practices in her state, and is also a survivor. “I didn’t experience the horrors of shock therapy, but I did experience the shaming and guilt, the self-hatred motivated by my inability to change and the fear of eternal damnation and societal rejection,” Amber Royster said. “Just as we prevent kids from choosing dangerous medical procedures and prescription medications or accessing harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol, conversion therapy is not a matter of choice, but of science and protecting kids from practices that cause great harm.”
Sam Brinton, who is just 30 years old, was subjected to electroshock and other abusive tactics in attempts to convert him. “I was told I was the only gay left on earth, that the government had come through and killed off every gay child when they were born. When the mental torture didn’t work, we moved into physical torture,” Sam Brinton said. “My parents were lied to and I was abused, all in the name of trying to change something I never chose.”
Equality Federation recently held a press briefing featuring the powerful stories of these survivors and an overview of the legislation. Listen to the recording here:
The following states have bans on the books:
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia (DC)
The following states have pending legislation on conversion efforts:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
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