Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today signed a bill into law that will protect Maryland youth from the practice of conversion therapy by health professionals. Conversion therapy, sometimes called “ex-gay therapy,” attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity and has been discredited by every major medical and mental health organization as an ineffective and harmful practice. On April 4, Maryland Republican Delegate Meagan Simonaire made headlines when she took to the floor of Maryland’s House of Delegates to give an impassioned speech about the harm that resulted in her own life when her family, including father state senator Bryan Simonaire, sought conversion therapy for her.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law SB 5722, legislation that protects LGBTQ youth from the fraudulent, harmful and debunked practice of “conversion therapy.” Today’s bill signing was the result of targeted grassroots advocacy efforts by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Equal Rights Washington. NCLR has been a tireless advocate on behalf of survivors of conversion therapy for the past 20 years, and in 2014, launched its Born Perfect campaign—making a commitment to a state-by-state advocacy campaign to end this practice in each state across the country.
Equality Florida seeks to defend the City of Tampa’s ban on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy for minors against a lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group. A motion for Equality Florida to intervene was filed today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firm Carlton Fields.
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.