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Louisville, KY Protects LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

BY: Kinzi Sparks
Group of LGBTQ youth, smiling and with their arms around each other, photographed from below with the sky behind them

Today, September 17th, the City of Louisville passed an ordinance that prohibits licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. With this 24 to 1 vote, Louisville becomes the second and largest city in Kentucky to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy — an action that could positively impact the potential of passing statewide legislation in the future.

“The Trevor Project is thrilled to see the largest city in Kentucky take action to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of conversion therapy. Based on our research, this discredited practice is strongly associated with greater rates of attempting suicide. This is a great victory for the LGBTQ youth of Louisville, and hopefully, it will encourage the passage of state-wide protections for all young people in the Bluegrass State,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him pronouns), Advocacy Campaign Manager for The Trevor Project.

Over the past few years, The Trevor Project has been proud to work with our partners at The Fairness Campaign, Kentucky’s statewide LGBTQ organization, Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky, and grassroots advocates from across the state in pushing to protect LGBTQ youth.

The Trevor Project’s new Protecting with Pride campaign is elevating the ongoing municipal-level fight against conversion therapy through legislation and public education in cities and counties across the United States.

Research:

  • According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 10% of LGBTQ youth reported undergoing conversion therapy, with 78% reporting it occurred when they were under age 18. Youth who reported undergoing conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not.
  • According to a new, peer-reviewed journal article by The Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health, 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.

Conversion therapy is widely opposed by prominent professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices.

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