Over 120,000 signatures were collected in a petition to ban conversion therapy for transgender minors. This prompted President Obama to place a federal ban on such practice after a transgender teenager died from suicide after being subjected to therapy meant to alter her gender identity.
President Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett stated, “There is overwhelming scientific evidence that demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially in minors, is neither medically or ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm. She said, “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban conversion therapy for minors.”
Additionally, the American Psychiatric Association has found that there is no evidence that conversion therapies are effective, and advocates against their use because of the psychological risks they pose, including depression and anxiety.
This practice of changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy has been widely practiced before studies were shown this practice is more detrimental than anticipated. California and New Jersey have already placed bans on this practice.
The federal ban on conversion therapy requires congress to support this ban. I anticipate that it will be supported by congress and that more states will join in banning this conversion therapy for minors.
This is a major commitment from our government in supporting gender identity rights and consequently is the first step in helping our transgender youth.