Post submitted by Aaron Rodriguez, former Rapid Response Deputy Press Secretary
HRC praised the New Hampshire State Senate for passing HB 587 -- legislation protecting LGBTQ youth in the state from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” HRC partnered with 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) to help pass the measure. The bill now moves to conference committee before it can advance to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk for his signature.
“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “This abusive practice has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health organization in the country. It is time for New Hampshire to join the growing number of states enacting laws to protect LGBTQ youth from so-called conversion therapy. We urge state legislators to quickly send the bill to Governor Sununu’s desk.”
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.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington 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. In addition, the Maryland state legislature recently passed similar protections and the legislation awaits Governor Larry Hogan’s signature.
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.