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Thursday, December 4, 2014


Yesterday, the Washington, D.C. city council unanimously voted to ban so-called "conversion therapy" -- a dangerous and discredited form of psychological abuse that falsely claims to change people from gay to straight -- from being performed on minors.
The Washington Post reports:

The bill, authored by council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), bans efforts by licensed mental health providers to seek to change a minor's sexual orientation "including efforts to change behaviors, gender identity or expression, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same sex or gender." It was opposed by the Family Research Council and some religious organizations.

"While steps toward remedying the counterproductive anti-homosexual mindset have been taken," Alexander wrote, "this measure will serve as a crucial step in that long battle.
The practice of "conversion therapy," also known as "ex-gay therapy" and "reparative therapy," has been rejected by every single mainstream organization of medical and mental health professionals because it doesn't work and has the potential to cause anxiety, depression, and even suicide in its victims.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is seeking to ban "ex-gay" therapy nationwide through its #BornPerfect campaign, praised the news in a press release:

"Today, the DC Council sent a powerful message to LGBT youth and their families that they are accepted, supported, and loved," said Samantha Ames, NCLR staff attorney and coordinator of the #BornPerfect campaign at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). "The Council has used its authority to protect our most vulnerable youth from dangerous and discredited pseudoscience that tells them who they are is wrong, and reaffirmed the consensus of every major medical and mental health organization that all children are born perfect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, also applauded the move in a statement provided to the Washington Post:

"While the LGBT youth in our nation's capital will soon be protected once this bill is signed into law. HRC is committed to making sure these kinds of protections are secured throughout the entire nation."

When the measure becomes law, D.C. will be the third jurisdiction in the country to legally ban "ex-gay" abuse. The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to California's law banning conversion therapy in June, and in September, New Jersey's ban was upheld by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


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