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Defending What We’ve Won: The Trevor Project Files an Amicus in the 11th Circuit Defending Boca Raton’s Anti-conversion Therapy Law

Following a successful lower court ruling defending the anti-conversion therapy ordinance in Boca Raton, FL, The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case of Otto v. Boca Raton. The new amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights collected from our inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health revealing the devastating impact this dangerous and discredited practice has on LGBTQ youth.

The Trevor Project survey of 34,000 LGBTQ youth found that of the 5% of LGBTQ youth who reported undergoing conversion therapy, 42% reported a suicide attempt in the past year. LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide in the past 12 months compared to their LGBTQ peers who did not report undergoing conversion therapy.

As argued in our amicus brief, The Trevor Project has a special interest in supporting the enforcement of ordinances prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy because many of the young people that The Trevor Project serves are survivors of conversion therapy or have a credible fear that their family members will compel them to receive conversion therapy.  

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce and defend legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. Through our research, we can provide a unique and important perspective for the court regarding the potential harm of granting a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Boca Raton’s anti-conversion therapy ordinance. Once legislation is passed protecting youth from conversion therapy, it is just as important to defend these laws in court.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Stuart Delery, Lora MacDonald, Corey Singer, and Dione Garlick.