Statement from Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project:
“It is incredible to see hundreds of religious leaders from all different backgrounds and denominations join together and come out against the discredited practice of conversion therapy. We hope this bold effort will send a message to LGBTQ youth in diverse communities of faith that they are deserving of love and respect and should be proud of exactly who they are.
“The evidence is clear — conversion therapy has only ever proven to produce negative mental health outcomes and increase suicide risk. We must all come together to protect LGBTQ youth in every city, state, and country around the globe from these dangerous conversion efforts and all forms of anti-LGBTQ violence.”
In the United States, 20 states and more than 80 municipalities have successfully passed legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy by licensed health care professionals. However, these laws do not address most conversion therapy that is done by unlicensed religious ministries. In The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey of over 40,000 LGBTQ youth in the U.S., 14% of respondents reported that a religious leader attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research demonstrates that conversion therapy is strongly associated with an increased risk for suicide. According to a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth who had undergone conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide as those who did not.