New Hampshire Lawmakers Vote to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Abusive Practice of “Conversion Therapy”
February 8, 2018
Filed under: State & Local Advocacy
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, praised the New Hampshire House of Representatives 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.
“We thank the state legislators who took a bold stand to protect LGBTQ youth from so-called 'conversion therapy,'” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “This abusive and inhumane practice has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health organization in the country. Children across the Granite State deserve to live their lives authentically, and they deserve to know that they are not broken or ill because of who they are. We are calling on the Senate to swiftly pass this bill and send it to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk for his signature.”
ACLU-NH Policy Director Jeanne Hruska said, “The ACLU-NH commends the NH House of Representatives for rallying behind HB587 and supporting a state ban on conversion therapy. Today’s votes represented a resounding show of support for LGBT youth. Conversion therapy is harmful and ineffective, and has no place in New Hampshire.”
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, and Rhode Island 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, and Arizona.
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.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.