Today, by unanimous vote, Florida’s Broward County voted to enact an ordinance to protect LGBTQ youth and prohibit the use of conversion therapy on minors. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) submitted testimony to Broward County on the urgent need to stop harmful, dangerous conversion therapy and worked alongside Equality Florida and the Southern Poverty Law Center to push the ordinance forward. More municipalities in Florida have enacted ordinances prohibiting conversion therapy than in any other state.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization committed to advancing LGBTQ equality since 1977, released Just As They Are, a comprehensive resource for parents on the harmful practice known as conversion therapy.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP filed a complaint on behalf of Katherine McCobb, against California-licensed marriage and family therapist Lloyd Willey. Willey told McCobb that being a lesbian is unnatural and pathological and that her sexual orientation could be changed using therapy. The practice of conversion therapy has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other professional counseling organizations as ineffective, unethical, and dangerous. McCobb paid Willey more than $70,000 for eight years of therapy based on fraudulent, harmful lies.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed SB201 into law, putting an end to the fraudulent, harmful and unscientific practice of so-called “conversion therapy” in the state of Nevada for LGBTQ youth. Today’s bill signing was the result of targeted grassroots advocacy efforts by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Justice Nevada, Kaempfer Crowell, and the Human Rights Campaign. NCLR has been standing up on behalf of survivors of conversion therapy for the past 20 years, and in 2014, launched its Born Perfect campaign—marking a commitment to a state-by-state advocacy campaign to end this practice in each state across the country.
The National Center for Transgender Equality released the findings of the U.S. Transgender Survey, the largest survey of transgender people in the United States. Conducted in 2015, the anonymous, online survey examines the experiences of 27,715 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as three U.S. territories and U.S. military bases overseas. Among the findings is that 18%—nearly one in five—of transgender people who had contact with a medical professional about their gender identity reported that the professional tried to stop them from being transgender. Transgender people who had these negative experiences were also more likely to experience psychological distress, to have attempted suicide, run away from home, been homeless, and have engaged in sex work than those who did not have the experience. The survey also found that 14% of transgender individuals—more than one in 10—who disclosed their transgender identity to their family were sent to a professional to stop them from being transgender.
Seattle City Council unanimously voted to protect LGBTQ youth in the city from conversion therapy, making Seattle the 10th jurisdiction—along with California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, and Miami Beach, Fla.—to protect youth from this dangerous practice.