Support House Bill 258 to Ban LGBTQ Conversion Therapy in Kentucky

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Currently in the Bluegrass State, conversion therapy for minors is legal.

Conversion therapists falsely claim be able to change LGBTQ youth into straight and cisgender youth. Prominent professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among numerous others—oppose the use of conversion therapy on youth, calling the practice harmful and ineffective.

 The State of Kentucky introduced House Bill 258 in a bold step to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in 2018. If successful, Kentucky would be the 10th state to pass legislation limiting the practice though another 40 states still allow this terrible crisis to continue. These efforts are part of the Trevor Projects 50 Bills 50 States campaign to protect youth from conversion therapy across the United States.

Conversion therapy is torture. Not only is it ineffective and dangerous for those who endure it, but it also fuels a narrative that LGBTQ people can and should change who they are. We need legislation in Kentucky to ensure not one more LGBTQ youth experiences the life long pain it causes.

We the undersigned call on Kentucky Legislators to:

  1. support House Bill 258 to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors
  2. increase public awareness that attempting to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity can be intensively damaging

All major psychological associations speak to the heart of harms that can happen to LGBTQ youth when attempting to discriminate and change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Clinicians should be aware that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful. There is no empirical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconforming children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed, there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness. On the contrary, such efforts may encourage family rejection and undermine self-esteem, connectedness and caring, important protective factors against suicidal ideation and attempts. Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation are effective, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicate ( http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=38417#Section420 ).
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation” (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/92/4/631.full.pdf
  • American Medical Association: “Aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it" (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=401656

  • From the National Association of Social Workers: “People seek mental health services for many reasons. Accordingly, it is fair to assert that lesbians and gay men seek therapy for the same reasons that heterosexual people do. However, the increase in media campaigns, often coupled with coercive messages from family and community members, has created an environment in which lesbians and gay men often are pressured to seek reparative or conversion therapies, which cannot and will not change sexual orientation. Aligned with the American Psychological Association’s (1997) position, NCLGB believes that such treatment potentially can lead to severe emotional damage. “
  • For a comprehensive list of policy and position statements on Conversion Therapy, visit: https://www.hrc.org/resources/policy-and-position-statements-on-conversion-therapy

Current Co-Sponsors: Rep. Jim Wayne, Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, Rep. Ruth Palumbo, Rep. Attica Scott, and Rep. Kelly Flood.

Endorsements: The Kentucky Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Youth Law Project (KYLP), Kentucky Mental Health Coalition (40 Member Organizations), Kentucky Psychological Association, The Trevor Project, Kentucky Psychological Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the ACLU of Kentucky.

Please consider sharing and signing this petition in support of HB 258 to put an end to these harmful practices in Kentucky. For more information on the 50 Bills, 50 States Campaign, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/50Bills50States

Together we can make Kentucky a safer place for LGBTQ youth. 

Don’t forget to call your legislators and ask them to sponsor and vote YES to HB 258! 1-800-372-7181

#50Bills50States #Kentucky #LGBTQ #ProtectLGBTKids #FairnessCampaign #BornPerfect #TrevorProject



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