U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14th) introduced the “Stop Harming Our Kids” (SHOK) Resolution of 2015, calling on states to pass laws protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy, a set of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to be able to change sexual orientation and gender identity. Congresswoman Speier has been a longtime advocate for efforts to end conversion therapy, having introduced a similar resolution in 2012. Her move comes one week after the White House, Surgeon General, and other national leaders joined the call to support LGBT youth by ending these ineffective and harmful practices for good.
Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., the United States Surgeon General, joined a growing chorus of high-profile advocates looking to support LGBT youth and put an end to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. His statement comes two days after the White House released a statement in response to a petition prompted by the death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager from Kings Mills, Ohio, who took her own life in December 2014 after facing years of rejection and enduring conversion therapy.
Texas State Representative Celia Israel introduced a bill that would protect youth and their families from the discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill—3495—reflects the unanimous view of medical, mental health, and child welfare experts that attempts by therapists to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are ineffective and unsafe, putting youth at risk of lifelong damage, including depression, substance abuse, isolation, and even suicide.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights will be celebrating the progress made in the movement for LGBT equality—from protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy to fighting for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court—at its annual Dinah Garden Party on April 4 in Palm Springs. NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell and NCLR Government Policy Director Geoff Kors will provide an update on NCLR’s work shaping the legal landscape for every member of the LGBT community, including its works to protect LGBT athletes, immigrants, parents, youth, and its landmark Tennessee marriage case that the Supreme Court will hear on April 28th.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Freedom Oklahoma condemned an extreme anti-LGBT Oklahoma bill that attacks Oklahoma children and seeks to legitimize so-called “conversion therapy,” the dangerous and discredited practices linked to lifelong damage including depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. The bill is backed by anti-LGBT State Rep. Sally Kern and will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday in the House Committee on Children, Youth, and Family Services, which is also chaired by Rep. Kern.
Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Louise Lucas introduced a bill protecting children and their families from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, joining a growing number of states and jurisdictions to consider and pass legislation to put an end to the discredited practice.