I want to address the use of conversion therapy on lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Conversion therapy is misguided therapy used to try to change sexual orientation. Conversion therapy does not work (aka. reorientation, reparative therapy, or forms of aversion therapy). There is no evidence or legitimate research that shows that sexual orientation can be altered. Four decades worth of research, as well as many professional organizations* have stated that conversion therapy does not work to change sexual orientation.
Efforts to try to change sexual orientation can lead to family rejection, decreased self-esteem, increased depression and anxiety, and increased suicidal ideation and attempts. Significant harm can result when individuals undergo such “therapies,” both emotional and physical.
That is why I support banning conversion therapies that try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Youth are especially at risk. Many youth lack adequate legal protections from involuntary and coercive treatments that can irreparably harm. I stand with the LGBTQIA community, and promise to fight for laws that end therapies based solely on stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.
*American Psychological Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, and National Association of Social Workers. Not an all-inclusive list.