You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Skip to main
Advocacy

Leading Suicide Prevention Orgs Ask Fed. District Court to Dismiss Challenge to Wash.’s Conversion Therapy Ban

BY: Josh Weaver
Placeholder image with star logo

The Trevor Project, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and American Association of Suicidology partnered in an amicus curiae brief to emphasize the importance of state laws addressing the strong association between conversion therapy and increased suicide risk.

NEW YORK, NY — The Trevor Project, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) united today to ask the US District Court for the Western District of Washington to dismiss a challenge to Washington State’s legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in the case of Tingley v. Ferguson (No. 3:21-cv-05359-RJB). Read the full amicus curiae brief here.

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that has been consistently associated with increased risk of attempting suicide, and the state of Washington was right to act to protect its young LGBTQ residents from these well-documented harms. We are hopeful that the court will dismiss this case quickly, as is called for by 9th Circuit precedent and common sense concern for the well-being of the young people this important law protects,” said Casey Pick (she/her pronouns), Senior Fellow for Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “According to a study by The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth who have undergone conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide as those who did not. We are proud to join together with other leading suicide prevention organizations to make it clear that legal protections from conversion therapy help save young lives.”

The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the U.S. found that 13% of LGBTQ youth reported being subjected to conversion therapy, with 83% reporting it occurred when they were under age 18. LGBTQ youth who were subjected to conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who were not. And these findings are reaffirmed in a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health, which found that LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year.

AFSP’s position statement on conversion therapy can be found here. AAS’s Research Division statement on the evidence of conversion therapy’s harms can be found here.

The Trevor Project, AFSP, and AAS were represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Abbey Hudson, Shireen Barday, Emily Maxim Lamm, Bethany Saul, and Randi Brown. The parties were also represented pro bono by Denise Diskin of The QLaw Foundation of Washington and Isaac Ruiz of Ruiz & Smart, PLLC.

About AFSP

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

About AAS

The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center professionals, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org

Read more from
Advocacy

Group of LGBTQ young people standing together and looking into the camera
Advocacy

Progress in Virginia: Protecting Youth from Conversion Therapy

2020 legislative sessions have begun across the nation and Virginia is the first to take action on protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. A subcommittee of the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee voted this morning to move SB 245, which prohibits licensed health care providers from subjecting minors to conversion therapy, to a full committee vote as soon as this Thursday. Casey Pick, The Trevor Project’s Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs, was in Richmond this morning to testify before the subcommittee in favor of these vital protections. From her prepared remarks,…
Image of The Trevor Project's logo
Advocacy

The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief in Idaho Supporting Transgender Student-Athlete Rights

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief yesterday with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Hecox v. Little. Lindsay Hecox is a transgender student at Boise State University who wants to be part of the school track team and filed suit after Idaho passed HB 500 early in 2020 — making it the first state in the nation to restrict transgender women and girls from playing on college and high school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into the serious harms…

Looking for another kind of support?

Explore answers and information across a variety of topics, or connect to one of our trained counselors to receive immediate support.

Your donation will save lives.

Every day, LGBTQ young people in crisis reach out. It is vital we make sure our volunteers can continue to offer that support.

Donate Now