Gay Prince Calls for India to Ban Conversion Therapy

Gay Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is campaigning for India to protect LBTQ Indians from conversion therapy.

“I was myself a victim of conversion therapy,” Gohil told Forbes. “From my parents. When I came out, the first thing they tried to do was convert me. They wouldn’t accept me as a gay child.

“They tried to ask the doctors to operate on me. They took me to religious leaders to ask them to cure me.” His parents pressured Gohil into electroshock therapy and an arranged marriage that failed.

Gohil says the situation is worse for LGBTQ women in India: “Lesbians are treated so badly, I’ve known cases where the family member will rape the child to prove she can have sex with a man. That is supposed to prove you are heterosexual.”

Today Gohil operates the LGBTQ+ Lakshya Trust charity.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Mexico City Bans Conversion Therapy

Mexico City’s regional congress approved a bill this week to ban conversion therapy — a major victory for Mexico’s LGBTQ community. The bill received broad cross-party support.

Under the new law, conversion therapy is defined as psychological or psychiatric measures or treatments which intend to “nullify, hinder, modify or undermine” the expression of a person’s gender identity or their sexual orientation. 

Read more at Reuters


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Tel Aviv protest against conversion therapy

Israel Takes First Step Toward Banning Conversion Therapy

In a historic development, a bill to ban conversion therapy passed a first vote by 42 to 36 in Israel’s Knesset. Under the current bill, psychologists who violate the ban could be fined or lose their licenses.

Conversion therapy is an effort to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Supporters of the ban cited the needless suffering of survivors of this therapy.

“The ban is a historic opportunity for Israel to protect LGBTQ people,” said Mathew Shurka, co-founder and chief strategist of Born Perfect. “Conversion therapy causes serious harm – depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and sometimes suicide. It is fraudulent and harmful and has no place in Israeli society.” As a teenager, Shurka endured five years of conversion therapy. Shurka’s therapist taught him to falsely blame an “overbearing mother” and “distant father” for his orientation.

Born Perfect has worked with survivors and LGBTQ advocates to support bans globally.

While the ban is popular with the Israeli public, the vote required members of the Knesset to break with their coalitions. Ruth Gophen of the Israeli Medical LGBT Association told Born Perfect, “Most of the people in Israel understand the harms of conversion therapy and thankfully despite politics, the vote passed.”

In the Jerusalem Post this morning, Meretz party leader Nitzan Horowitz called the ban “amazing news for the Israeli public and the LGBTQ+ community at whole. Today a historic change is beginning in Israel. I thank the members of the Knesset who voted in support of the freedom and equality in order to stop the horror of ‘conversion therapy,’ and for everyone who acted, initiated, wrote, shared and fought for the life of the proud community. You helped save lives today.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted, “Conversion therapy was born in sin and its place is outside of the law and the public norm. We will make sure that everyone, from every background and sexual orientation, in Israel will have free choice and security in their identity.”

Ruth Gophen, Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz, and three conversion therapy survivors

The latest effort to ban conversion therapy in Israel began in July 2019 when Israel’s new education minister, Rafi Peretz, supported conversion therapy and said he had actually performed it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later publicly distanced himself from that position, according to Reuters.

Backlash against conversion therapy grew. Shurka told Newsweek that the incident presented a moment for the LGBTQ community “to see which elected officials stand where.”

“The Education Minister’s support for this life-threatening practice is dangerous and irresponsible. It is shocking that any public official would disregard the medical consensus that conversion therapy is ineffective and unsafe. Research has shown that being subjected to conversion therapy puts LGBTQ youth at high risk of suicide and depression.”

Shurka joined more than 1,000 demonstrators protesting in front of the Kiryat HaMemshala government building in Tel Aviv. The protesters included conversion therapy survivors who shared their stories of abuse, as well as activists, teachers, students and parents.

Before today’s vote, Ohad Hizki, director-general of Aguda, The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, called this a “moment of truth” for Israel’s governing alliances.

The Israel Psychological Association strongly supports the ban.

“The considered treatments were not found to be helpful, and they could cause real damage,” the Israel Psychological Association said before the vote. Conversion therapy could lead to “mental damage, including anxiety, depression and suicide. Other possible damage includes isolation and social withdrawal, difficulty making intimate and sexual connections, avoiding social connections, harm to religious belief, anger and distancing toward parents.”

Dr. Tzvi Fishel, Chairman of the Israel Psychological Association, praised the bill’s passage. In today’s Jerusalem Post, Fishel cited fraudulent “therapists who violated the first rule of medical ethics: ‘First do not harm!’”


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Born Perfect Congratulates German Parliament for Passing Law to End Conversion Therapy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2020

Contact: Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

Born Perfect Congratulates German Parliament for Passing Law to End Harmful Practice of Conversion Therapy

New legislation is just second of its kind in the European Union and makes Germany the most prominent nation in the world to address this issue

BERLIN, GERMANY — Today, the German Bundestag passed legislation that would ban conversion therapy nationwide in the European nation. The new law bans the harmful practice – which aims to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth – for minors and creates significant new protections for adults. The legislation makes Germany, which is the world’s fourth-largest economy, the most prominent nation to end the dangerous practice that has shown to be directly correlated to higher rates of LGBTQ youth depression and suicide.

“Germany is the first major European country to protect LGBTQ people from this insidious practice, which is one of the primary drivers of suicide and depression among LGBTQ youth,” said Mathew Shurka, a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect. “Especially during this time, when many LGBTQ people are feeling more isolated and alone than ever, Germany’s leadership is a powerful example of how governments can stand up for LGBTQ youth.”

Globally, three countries – Brazil, Ecuador, and Malta – have already enacted nationwide bans. In March, Canada introduced legislation that would also soon end conversion therapy nationwide in the North American country. In the United States, twenty states and more than 70 localities have passed laws protecting minors from conversion therapy, including most recently in the states of Utah, Virginia, and the Florida Capitol city of Tallahassee. In addition, survivors of conversion therapy have successfully sued their former therapists under state laws that prohibit consumer fraud.

“Germany is setting a new international standard for protecting LGBTQ youth and for recognizing conversion therapy for what it is—a public health crisis that is devastating the lives of LGBTQ young people,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Germany’s leadership on this issue is groundbreaking and will set an example for other countries to follow.”

Last year, Outright International released a groundbreaking report showing that conversion therapy occurs across the world and documenting the severe trauma that it causes.


Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy created by The National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

Canadian Introduction of Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban is Part of a Growing Global Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2020
Contact: Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

Canadian Introduction of Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban is Part of a Growing Global Movement

OTTAWA, Ontario — Today, Canadian Minister of Justice David Lametti and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger introduced legislation that would ban conversion therapy nationwide in Canada. Bill C-8, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)”, would amend Canada’s criminal code to make it illegal for therapists or organizations to engage in conversion therapy.

“Canada’s bill is a milestone for LGBTQ human rights and will help to bring families back together with their LGBTQ children,” said Mathew Shurka, a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect. “Being subjected to conversion therapy drives many LGBTQ youth into hopelessness. A parent’s acceptance is make or break for an LGBTQ child’s future. Canada’s bill sends a powerful message that LGBTQ youth are born perfect.”

Globally, three countries – Brazil, Ecuador, and Malta – have already enacted nationwide bans. In the United States, twenty states and more than 70 localities have passed laws protecting minors from conversion therapy. In addition, survivors of conversion therapy have successfully sued their former therapists under state laws that prohibit consumer fraud.

“Like Canada, countries across the world are taking active steps to address the devastating harms caused by conversion therapy,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Other countries considering similar legislation include Chile, Mexico, and Germany, and grassroots movements to expose this abusive practice are growing in South Africa and many other African countries. This is now a global movement that is emerging as one of the most urgent and critical issues for LGBTQ people across the world.”

Last year, Outright International released a groundbreaking report showing that conversion therapy occurs across the world and documenting the severe trauma that it causes.


Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy created by The National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

Virginia Becomes 20th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2020
Contact: Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

Virginia Becomes 20th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

With Governor’s signature, VA becomes the first Southern state to end the harmful practice

RICHMOND, Virginia — Yesterday Governor Ralph Northam signed a historic bill making Virginia the twentieth state to protect LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy, the harmful practice which seeks to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, which passed both chambers of the VA legislature in February, will go into effect on July 1.

The Governor’s signature also makes Virginia the first state in the South to end the practice that has been widely condemned by every leading medical and mental health organization in this country.

Virginia joins 19 other states, the District of Columbia, and more than 60 municipalities that have adopted similar protections.

“Across the country, state legislatures are recognizing that the harm caused by conversion therapy is a public health crisis,” said Mathew Shurka, a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect. “Virginia is the twentieth state to pass a law protecting LGBT youth, and the first to do so in the South. As the leading national campaign working to end conversion therapy, Born Perfect will not rest until LGBT youth are protected in every state.”

“As a Virginia survivor who has been working to pass this bill for more than two years, I am grateful to our state legislators and Governor Northam for listening to survivors and their families,” said Adam Trimmer, a conversion therapy survivor and Born Perfect Virginia Ambassador. “No young person should be subjected to this abuse, and no family should be exploited by unethical therapists who lie to parents and cause life-threatening harm.”

“The campaign to end conversion therapy is by far the largest and fast-growing LGBT-related movement in this country,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter. “Since California passed the first law in 2012, the visibility of this issue has increased dramatically, and more and more survivors have come forward. Virginia is the first Southern state to pass a law, but it will not be the last.”

For more than 25 years, NCLR has been leading the fight against conversion therapy. Since 2014, NCLR’s Born Perfect Campaign has brought survivors and legal experts together to support legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.

Momentum on this work continues to build, with a record-breaking number of states and localities taking action to protect youth in the past 12 months, including North Carolina, Kansas City, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently, rules were adopted in the conservative state of Utah that protect LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy

According to an estimate from the Williams Institute from UCLA Law, more than 350,000 LGBTQ minors have been subjected to the dangerous practice of “Conversion Therapy,” which studies have linked to these youth being more than twice as likely to experience depression, and nearly three times more likely to attempt suicide.


Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy created by The National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.