Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 132 into law, making Vermont the eighth jurisdiction—behind California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati—to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of “conversion therapy.”
HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad attended the bill signing and spoke on the proven dangers of “conversion therapy,” highlighting the fact that it leads to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior.
“Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” is a range of practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades.
HRC thanks Senator Brian Campion, Senator Claire Ayer, Representative Ann Pugh, and Governor Shumlin for their leadership and support in getting this bill passed and signed into law.
In February, NCLR, HRC, and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a historic federal consumer fraud complaint against a major provider of “conversion therapy,” urging the Federal Trade Commission to take enforcement action against the organization and all practitioners engaging in similar fraudulent advertising and business practices.
NCLR and HRC have partnered with state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation to end this harmful practice.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.