Friday, June 21, 2024
Health & Happiness

Taking a stand against conversion therapy

Many of us were told when we came out that we needed to change. Our fight against the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation continues.

The Born Perfect campaign has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief urging the reversal of a recent decision by a three-judge federal panel validating the dangerous unethical pseudoscientific practice known as conversion therapy. These treatments claim to be able to change sexual orientation or gender identity and they have been shown to make LGBTQ children nearly three times more likely to attempt suicide.     

“So-called conversion therapy has harmed hundreds of thousands of Americans, leaving LGBTQ youth and their families with a lifetime of pain,” said Mathew Shurka, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Born Perfect, the national campaign to end the harmful practice of conversion therapy. As a teenager, Shurka went through five years of conversion therapy and now works to protect other young people from enduring the harm that he and his family experienced as a result.

“There is tremendous evidence that conversion therapy is dangerous and has no place in our society,” said Shurka. “With the support of every major medical and mental health association, we feel an urgency to make sure that every parent knows these deadly practices have no scientific credibility  and that every child deserves love and support.”     

Extensive research has shown that conversion therapy does not work and puts patients at risk of severe harm. Many Florida localities, including the City of Boca Raton and the County of Palm Beach, have passed ordinances barring state-licensed therapists from performing conversion therapy on children under 18.

Every major medical and mental health professional association, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, has condemned conversion therapy.

The brief explains that the panel decision disregarded a “litany of studies, position papers from medical organizations, and other evidence from mental health professionals and community members demonstrating that conversion therapy is harmful to children, including by increasing the risk of suicidality.”

About Born Perfect

Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign created by the National Center for Lesbian Right in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country that protect LGBT children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices.

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