The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, today condemnned the creation of a new federal office designed to allow health care workers to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
“Today’s decision is a license to discriminate against some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director at The Trevor Project. “We want all LGBTQ youth in this country to know that they are loved and supported. And even on days like today, when it might feel like they have nowhere to turn, The Trevor Project is here for them, 24/7.”
The Department of Health and Human Services announcement—creating a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Office of Human Rights—could be catastrophic for LGBTQ youth seeking healthcare options and care. Those claiming a religious objection to providing services like mental health support to a young transgender person or an abortion to bisexual youth now have an office with the sole purpose of defending such harmful, discriminatory actions toward LGBTQ youth.
“As a genderfluid individual who regularly uses mental health services to remain a productive member of society, it is frightening to think that I could be denied care in the name of faith,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “And as a person of faith who loves God and seeks to live a faithful life, I find it appalling that a federal agency is seeking to co-opt the issue of religious freedom to do harm to LGBTQ youth.”
The Trevor Project will be responding to this development with a review of the creation of such a Division and provide comments on its potential danger to LGBTQ youth. We will also continue to protect LGBTQ youth from the harm this action or others like it can cause. LGBTQ youth in need of support can reach out to our crisis services 24/7.