Today, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill into law banning conversion “therapy” for LGBT minors.
The Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act was passed unanimously earlier this month. HRC, in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, played a lead role in organizing the coalition behind this bill.
Only two other states, New Jersey and California, have a law banning conversation “therapy.”
So-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as sexual orientation change efforts or “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. These harmful practices are based on the false claim that being LGBT is a mental illness that should be cured. Unfortunately, young LGBT people may be coerced and subjected to these harmful practices, which can result in negative outcomes such as depression, substance abuse, and suicidality. Conversion therapy has been denounced by every mainstream medical and mental health association, including the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association.
HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill attended the bill signing and was invited by the Mayor to speak about the signing of this critical bill. "This District of Columbia is leading the way to eradicate these dangerous practices which harm LGBT youth and deceive families. We hope that other states will pass measures to protect LGBT youth from this so-called 'therapy.'"
HRC commends Mayor Gray on taking a stand for LGBT youth and permitting them to be their true, authentic selves.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.