Post submitted by Aaron Rodriguez, former Rapid Response Deputy Press Secretary
HRC praised Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for signing into law Senate Bill (SB) 201 -- legislation protecting LGBTQ youth in the state from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” HRC also commended State Senator David Parks for sponsoring the bill and shepherding it through to the Governor’s office.
“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse. We thank Governor Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature for passing these crucially important protections for the state’s LGBTQ youth.”
Nevada becomes the tenth jurisdiction — and the third state so far this year — to enact these crucially important protections. Connecticut, California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
“I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly for their bipartisan support of Senate Bill 201,” said Nevada State Senator David Parks, who sponsored the bill. “Conversion therapy is a dangerous, discredited practice that has been shown to cause anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide among LGBTQ youth. By enacting this ban, Nevada will join eight other states and the District of Columbia in taking a strong stand to protect young people from psychological and physical abuse.”
“Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” encompasses 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 for decades by every major medical and mental health organization.
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The dangerous practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
HRC has partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation ending conversion therapy.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.