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HRC Praises Introduction of Resolution Condemning Dangerous Psychological Practices

Capitol Hill; Jack SpeierPost submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Deputy Communications Director

At a Capitol Hill press conference earlier today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced the introduction of the Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution.  SHOK is a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that sexual orientation change efforts are dangerous and harmful and should be prohibited from being practiced on minors and Congress encourages each State to enact a law that prohibits such efforts.  HRC Legal Director Brian Moulton joined the Congresswoman, survivors of these dangerous practices, and representatives from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose work in these efforts has been instrumental. 

Psychological practices to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity have not only been debunked as junk science, but have also been proven harmful to children and adults.  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law earlier this year banning these practices, after successful lobbying efforts by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California.  All major medical and mental health organizations have criticized reparative therapy and warned of its harms.  Those organizations include: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.  Learn more at

HRC calls on Congress to support SHOK, and joins in this resolution by calling on all states to follow California’s lead in protecting children by enacting laws prohibiting dangerous psychological practices to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  

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