This year was the most successful ever in the fight against so-called “conversion therapy.” Equality Federation supported legislation in 20 states to protect youth from the harmful, unscientific, disproven practice of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion efforts.

In the past year alone, five states have enacted laws banning the practice on minors, doubling the
number of states with such protections to ten, including the District of Columbia. One of the states which scored a victory this year was New Mexico. Amber Royster, then executive director of Equality New Mexico led the charge in her state, and is also a survivor. She 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.”

Empowering these efforts has been a top priority for Equality Federation. For the past several years we’ve highlighted conversion therapy through a series of blog posts, webinars, and workshops. We also tracked bills in our Legislative Action Center, held a first-ever press briefing for the media, and included a moving first-person account of the harms of conversion therapy at this year’s annual lunch plenary at our Leadership Conference (See below!).

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Andy Garcia

Andy is Program Manager at Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he strengthens the states working to pass local and state-level nondiscrimination laws by identifying and developing programs and resources, including legal and legislative support, communications resources, messaging, and constituency group expertise.

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