Post Submitted by Josh King, former HRC Senior Public Policy Advocate

The facts are clear: sexual orientation and gender identity are normal, natural components of every individual’s identity.  Attempts to “cure”  LGBT people are harmful, particularly when directed at children.  Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that would discourage mental health practitioners from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.

The Stop Harming Our Kids Resolution of 2013 is an important tool for Congress to take a position on this issue that has affected many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Watch Rep. Speier speaking on the House floor on this resolution below.

There is broad consensus in the medical community that attempting to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity is ineffective and can be harmful. Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers all have expressed that being LGBT is not disease and not something that should be changed.

HRC is opposed to efforts to change youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and discourages adults from seeking to undergo these discredited practices. We applaud Congresswoman Speier for bringing attention to the important issue. We hope that Congress will pass the resolution and take a stand on the side of equality. 

HRC mobilized our members and supporters to press for the successful legislation in California and New Jersey that bans licensed therapists from engaging in sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts for youth. We will be working with our members and coalition partners in several more state during the 2014 state legislative sessions to create widespread protections for LGBT youth. For more information on this issue, please visit here.

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