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.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) calls on the LGBT community and the general public to urge delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention to reject the party’s proposed platform and work to end the dangerous and discredited practice of LGBT conversion therapy. Delegates to the convention, which is set to begin Monday, will vote on a platform that includes, among other extreme anti-LGBT provisions, a resolution approving the use of so-called “therapies” that attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Such practices have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization across the country because they are known to lead to extreme depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 132 into law, making Vermont the eighth jurisdiction—behind California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati—to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Corey Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a companion bill to HR 2450, introduced in the House of Representatives by Ted Lieu in 2015. The bill would define the provision of conversion therapy for profit as consumer fraud and, additionally, take Rep. Lieu’s bill one step farther by empowering states to take their own action against these dangerous and discredited practices. The senators’ move comes just two months after the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), along with partner organizations Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission encouraging the federal government to investigate conversion therapy as a violation of existing consumer fraud laws.