FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2019
NCLR AND BORN PERFECT CAMPAIGN APPLAUD INTRODUCTION OF HISTORIC UTAH BILL TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM CONVERSION THERAPY
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the Born Perfect campaign applaud today’s introduction in Utah of historic legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, the discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, which has been denounced by all of the nation’s leading medical and mental health organizations.
The bill, “Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy upon Minors,” was introduced today by Rep. Craig Hall and Sen. Dan McCay, with support from local LGBTQ advocacy group, Equality Utah.
Statement by Shannon Minter, legal director of NCLR:
“The introduction of Utah’s bill to protect youth from conversion therapy is historic and marks a major milestone in the battle to end these harmful practices. The LDS Church deserves much credit for taking a clear stance against conversion therapy and helping to educate parents about the serious harms that it causes. In a political climate that is increasingly polarized, it is encouraging to see state legislators working together to address this important issue in such a positive way. This is a great day for Utah, which once again is showing that, even in red states, legislators can find a way forward to include and support LGBTQ people.”
Nationwide, 15 states and DC, as well as more than 45 localities, have enacted similar laws, including six statewide laws signed by Republican governors. In addition to Utah, 14 other states have introduced legislation so far this year.
Conversion therapy puts youth at risk of serious harms, including depression and suicide. A 2018 study by Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project found that minors pressured to change their sexual orientation or gender identity were two times more likely to experience depression and nearly three times more likely to attempt suicide.
NCLR’s Born Perfect campaign was started in 2014 with the goal of passing laws across the country to protect LGBT children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by the dangerous practice of conversion therapy.