Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
Today, HRC claimed victory as New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed into law HB 587 — legislation protecting LGBTQ youth in the state from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” With Governor Sununu’s signature, New Hampshire joined the growing number of states and municipalities adopting these critical protections for LGBTQ youth. Just this year, Washington, Maryland and Hawaii have also enacted these protections, and lawmakers in Delaware recently passed similar legislation which currently awaits the governor’s signature.
The Granite State’s governor also signed crucially important legislation today explicitly protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces. Find out more about that major victory here.
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 harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and American Medical Association.
HRC and local LGBTQ advocates, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Hampshire, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) have been advocating for these protections for LGBTQ youth in the Granite State.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii and now New Hampshire all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin.
According to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional if state officials fail to act.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.