June 25, 2013
Statement from Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO
Media Contact: Laura McGinnis ([email protected]; 323.423.7405)
New York, NY (July 10, 2013) – Late last month, the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly voted to protect minors from dangerous and discredited sexual orientation change efforts by passing an important bipartisan measure, Senate bill 2278 and Assembly bill 3371. This measure regulates state licensed mental health providers, encouraging therapies that provide acceptance and support, that facilitate coping and identity exploration, or that address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, while limiting dangerous and harmful sexual orientation change efforts. The below statement from Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project urges Governor Chris Christie to exert his leadership and sign this important legislation into law.
“The Trevor Project applauds New Jersey Senators and Assembly Members for passing important legislation that will protect minors from dangerous and discredited sexual orientation change efforts. We commend the sponsors of this important bipartisan measure, and we thank Garden State Equality for their leadership on this critical issue.
“Now, it is time for Governor Christie to demonstrate leadership by signing this bill into law and protecting youth from harmful sexual orientation change efforts. By joining California as the second state to prohibit these dangerous and discredited practices, New Jersey shows it is a welcoming state for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
“There is no evidence that sexual orientation change efforts, sometimes referred to as ‘reparative therapy’ or ‘conversion therapy,’ work to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and they are not condoned by any major medical organization. Unfortunately, young LGBTQ people may be coerced into and subjected to these harmful practices, resulting in a range of negative outcomes including depression, substance abuse and suicidality.
“The Trevor Project urges Governor Chris Christie to sign this vital bill into law to protect youth in New Jersey from these harmful practices.”
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people under 24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, instant messaging and text messaging services, best-practice in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. Honored by the White House as a Champion of Change, The Trevor Project is a leader and innovator in suicide prevention. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.