July 11, 2016, Washington, DC – “Conversion therapy” is a dangerous and discredited practice denounced by every major medical association in the United States and support for it must not be included in any major political party platform. More commonly known as “pray away the gay,” this approach attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity often through activities that equate to physical and psychological abuse and torture. Research has unequivocally shown that conversion therapy does not work and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has issued calls for its end.
“A preponderance of evidence shows that conversion therapy poses real health risks to LGBTQ youth including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidal ideation. We urge all participants involved in deciding party platforms to use science to drive decision-making. And to ensure no platform policy is designed to hurt, discriminate, or take away basic liberties and freedoms for LGBT people,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in the United States between the ages of 13 to 24, and LGB youth are more four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Families that reject their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity often send their child to undergo conversion therapy. Research has shown that youth from highly rejecting families are more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide. It is incumbent upon our nation’s leaders and political parties to adopt platforms that are rooted in scientific research and do not put more young lives at risk of suicide.
ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT:
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.
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