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D.C. Bans Conversion Therapy for Minors
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Statement on D.C. Law Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors
D.C. Joins California and New Jersey as the Only States to Ban Harmful Practice for Minors
NEW YORK (Dec. 23, 2014) – GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, released the following statement in response to Mayor Vincent Gray signing into law “The Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2013,” a ban on “conversion therapy” for minors.
Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy,” is a set of discredited practices that use rejection, shame and psychological abuse aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association and many others reject the use of conversion therapy.
“GLSEN commends the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent Gray for passing and signing the conversion therapy ban into law,” said Dr. Byard. “These actions will protect young people from a practice that studies conducted by major mental health organizations and personal testimony from youth have shown can create dangerous and even life-threatening effects, including depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and suicidal behavior.
“Fifteen years ago, major medical, psychiatric and counseling associations rallied to GLSEN’s side to beat back the insertion of this insidious practice into our schools. We salute them for their pioneering stance and are thrilled to see D.C. protect youth from damaging and misguided practices.”
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.