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The Trevor Project Celebrates Minnesota Legislation That Would Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

BY: Trevor News
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15% of LGBTQ youth in Minnesota reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy in the past year

January 18, 2023 — The Trevor Project — the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people — voiced its support for a bill introduced by the Minnesota House of Representatives, which would prohibit licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill is scheduled to be voted on today in a hearing held by the House Human Services Policy Committee, where it is expected to pass.

“Despite a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ bills already gaining traction across the country in the first few weeks of 2023, it is deeply heartening to see Minnesota working hard to introduce legislation in support of LGBTQ youth and protecting them from the harms of so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Senior Advocacy Campaign Manager at The Trevor Project. “All leading professional medical and mental health associations oppose ‘conversion therapy,’ which has been consistently associated with poor mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk. We urge Minnesota lawmakers to support this critical legislation and join the growing number of states that have enacted these protections for LGBTQ young people.”

Stevenson and fellow advocates from The Trevor Project will be in attendance at today’s hearing, testifying in support of the legislation. If the bill is enacted into law, Minnesota will become the 21st state in the country to enact protections via statewide legislation prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy.

“OutFront has long advocated for protecting our community from the physical, mental, and social harms that have come with the discredited practice of so-called conversion ‘therapy,’” said Kat Rohn (she/they), Executive Director at OutFront Minnesota. “We have supported bans in municipalities across the state and celebrated the 2021 Executive Order by Governor Walz to take action on this important issue. We celebrate the introduction of this legislation to protect vulnerable Minnesotans and to send the message that our LGBTQ+ community members are cared for and valued for who they are.”

Relevant Research: 

  • According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State, 43% of LGBTQ youth in Minnesota seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 52% of transgender and nonbinary youth. Additionally, 15% of LGBTQ youth in Minnesota reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy.
  • Further, a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health 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.
  • A peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Pediatrics found the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, and its associated harms – such as substance abuse and negative mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts – cost the U.S. an estimated $9.23 billion, annually. 

For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices. 

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678678.

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