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Obama Calls to End Conversion Therapy
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Statement on President Obama’s Call for End to Conversion Therapy for LGBT Youth
NEW YORK (April 8, 2015) – GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, thanked President Obama for calling for an end to conversion therapy for minors. 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, also known as "reparative therapy." GLSEN's Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel, produced in partnership with a coalition of education, health, mental health and religious organizations, address this and other practices.
"Studies conducted by major mental health organizations and personal testimony from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth have shown that conversion therapy can create dangerous and even life-threatening effects, including depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and suicidal behavior.
“We are thrilled that President Obama will call for an end to the use of conversion therapy on minors. It is a harmful and discredited practice that uses rejection, shame and psychological abuse aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
“Fifteen years ago, major medical, psychiatric and counseling associations rallied to GLSEN’s side to beat back attempts to force this insidious practice into our schools. We salute them for their pioneering stance and thank the President for his leadership in protecting youth from these damaging and misguided practices.”
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, 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.