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Welcoming SchoolsHRC submitted testimony for hearings today in Nevada and Rhode Island on behalf of the protection of LGBTQ youth.

HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill testified in support of S.B. 480, the Prevention of Conversion Therapy for Children Act before the Rhode Island Senate Committee of Health and Human Services.

Gill testified that S.B. 480 is “a vital measure that will protect young people from dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The dangerous and widely debunked practices known as “conversion therapy," use shame and stigma to force young people to change who they are. Rejected by every major medical group in the U.S. for decades, conversion therapy is based on false concept that being LGBT is a mental illness that needs to be cured.

Additionally, Gill testified in support of S.B. 204 before the Joint Meeting of the Nevada Senate Committee on Education and the Assembly Committee on Education.

“HRC believes that all youth deserve a safe educational environment that is free of bullying and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Gill testified. “On behalf of HRC’s thousands of members in Nevada, we thank you for allowing us to submit testimony in favor of S.B. 204, which will protect youth in Nevada from bullying and discrimination.”

The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBTQ in America and the impact of family rejection, bullying, and daily concern for safety weighs heavily on our youth. HRC’s groundbreaking report, Growing Up LGBT in America, found that LGBTQ youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school.

HRC urges both state legislatures to pass these vital pieces of legislation to help protect and enhance the lives of LGBTQ youth.

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