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Broward County in Florida has just accomplished a historic first for 2018 with a unanimous vote passing an ordinance to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists claim to reduce and eliminate the homosexual or bisexual orientation of youth, or force a child to reject their transgender identity. Every major mental health professional organization has refuted the practice of conversion therapy as ineffective and potentially harmful. However, 41 states still still allow conversion therapy including the State of Florida.
As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Commissioner Nan H. Rich, Mayor Beam Furr, Vice-Mayor Mark D. Bogen, and Commissioners Michael Udine, Steve Geller, Tim Ryan, Barbara Sharief, and Dale V.C. Holness for submitting this bill. We also congratulate the important advocacy efforts of The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Florida, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Trevor Project frequently receives calls of LGBTQ youth in crisis stemming from their experience with conversion therapy and aims to advocate for the eventual end of state sanctioned conversion therapy across the country via the 50 Bills 50 States campaign.
“It was an honor to stand with fellow community leaders in a true and powerful display of national, state and local solidarity for protecting our LGBTQIA+ youth” said Broward County resident and Trevor Project supporter, Jessica Gottsleben. Jessica testified on the need for these type of ordinances to protect LGBTQ youth who reach out to The Trevor Project. She continued, “I am proud that Broward County unanimously took the vital step to continue moving our state forward and ensuring a safe and inclusive future for all residents growing up in South Florida.”
“As a former Floridian who was forced into conversion therapy a few miles from Broward County it is a dream come true to see Broward County protect future generations of LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “We truly look forward to continued local and state efforts until every child knows that they should never be forced to change something they never chose.”
If you would like to help The Trevor Project protect LGBTQ youth from the horrors of conversion therapy you can text TREVOR to 40649.
If you’d like to learn more about conversion therapy and the nationwide efforts to end it you can go to our 50 Bills 50 States campaign website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/50-bills-50-states/.
You can also help support this important work by donating here: www.TheTrevorProject.org/give.
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org
Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer