Washington Gov. Signs Law Ending Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ youth

Conversion Therapy

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NCLR’s Born Perfect Campaign Successful in Efforts to Prohibit Conversion Therapy in the state of Washington

OLYMPIA, WA—Today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law SB 5722, legislation that protects LGBTQ youth from the fraudulent, harmful and debunked practice of “conversion therapy.” Today’s bill signing was the result of targeted grassroots advocacy efforts by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Equal Rights Washington. NCLR has been a tireless advocate on behalf of survivors of conversion therapy for the past 20 years, and in 2014, launched its Born Perfect campaign—making a commitment to a state-by-state advocacy campaign to end this practice in each state across the country.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Youth Policy Counsel and Born Perfect Campaign Director Carolyn Reyes issued the following statement in response:

“Today we applaud Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s decision to sign into law SB 5722. We are heartened by the progress made by legislators to uphold the safety, health, and well-being of LGBTQ individuals in Washington state. We know that few practices hurt LGBTQ youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through the debunked practice of ‘conversion therapy.’ Washington is an example for the rest of the country by recognizing every child knows they are born perfect.”

Sometimes referred to as “ex-gay therapy,” “reparative therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts,” conversion therapy are harmful practices that attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity via physical or cognitive behavioral techniques. Conversion therapy has been shown to lead to higher instances of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide, leading these practices to be condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the United States, including the American Psychological Association.

NCLR and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have partnered with state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation ending conversion therapy. Through the Born Perfect campaign, NCLR helped to pass 36 municipal ordinances in several states (FL, OH, PA, NY, AZ, WA) and secured legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012, New Jersey in 2013, Washington, D.C. in 2014, Oregon and Illinois in 2015, Vermont in 2016, and Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island in 2017.

NCLR thanks Washington Senator Marko Liias for introducing SB 5722.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org

[From a News Release]

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