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The Trevor Project Opposes Indiana Bill Undermining LGBTQ Youth Protections Against Conversion Therapy

BY: Trevor News
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18% of LGBTQ youth in Indiana reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy in the past year

February 13, 2023The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, voiced its opposition to SB 350 — a bill that would prohibit counties, cities, towns and other local units of government from enforcing any sort of protections for LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy. SB 350 will be heard on the Senate floor today at 1:30pm ET.

“Conversion therapy is still happening: our research shows that nearly 1 in 5 young LGBTQ Hoosiers reported having been threatened with or subjected to ‘conversion therapy’ in Indiana. This bill would prohibit local and state governments from enforcing critical protections against these unethical practices — which have been denounced by every major medical and mental health professional organization and are associated with negative mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns at The Trevor Project. “By restricting Indiana from enacting the same type of protections already in place in 26 states and nearly 100 municipalities across the U.S., this bill puts young lives at risk. We urge Indiana lawmakers to put an immediate stop to this harmful legislation.”

Relevant Research: 

  • According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State, 45% of LGBTQ youth in Indiana seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 54% of transgender and nonbinary youth. Additionally, 18% of LGBTQ youth in Indiana 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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