The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief Defending Anti-conversion Therapy Law in Boca Raton, FL

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the case of Otto v. Boca Raton to defend a local ordinance protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into the serious harms inflicted on LGBTQ youth by this dangerous and discredited practice.

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because research shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. Once legislation is passed protecting youth from conversion therapy, it is just as important to defend these laws in court.

As argued in our amicus brief, The Trevor Project has a special interest in supporting the enforcement of ordinances prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy because many of the young people that The Trevor Project serves are survivors of conversion therapy or have a credible fear that their family members will compel them to receive conversion therapy.  Because The Trevor Project has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that conversion therapy can inflict on LGBTQ youth, we can provide a unique and important perspective for the court regarding the potential harm of granting a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Boca Raton’s anti-conversion therapy ordinance.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Stuart Delery, Douglas Dreier, Lora MacDonald, Corey Singer, and Dione Garlick.

Read the full amicus brief.


The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief Supporting Transgender Youth Denied Legal Name Changes in Ohio

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to support transgender youth who have been denied access to a legal name change because of their transgender status. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into the vital importance of respecting a young transgender person’s name and identity.

As argued in the amicus brief, many of the trans youth who reach out to The Trevor Project in moments of crisis describe concerns or stresses associated with the use of their chosen names, trying to obtain legal name changes, or being outed by documents listing their names at birth. Supervisors for The Trevor Project’s crisis services, such as TrevorText and TrevorChat, report that name-change issues come up on a daily basis, multiple times a day. These impressions are borne out by data collected on TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat, as terms like “name change,” “wrong name,” “dead named,” and “legal identification” have appeared almost 3,000 times since 2010.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Tucker Ellis LLP, including Chad Eggspuehler and Brandon Cox.

Read the full amicus brief.


Delaware Becomes 5th State In 2018 To Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

Wilmington, DE—Delaware Governor John Carney today signed SB65, a bill that protects LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy and establishes a sexual orientation counseling task force. The discredited practice of conversion therapy falsely claims to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, and is widely opposed by prominent professional health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Supported by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, Senator McDowell filed SB65 in 2017. The organization supported the bill’s passage through its “50 Bills 50 States” initiative by supporting legislators in their study of similar legislation and by directing its network of Delaware volunteer activists to contact local legislators, encouraging them to support this critical bill to protect LGBTQ young people. The organization also worked with national partners such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and  to support the bill’s passage. By building coalitions, these national partners have been wildly successful at preventing conversion therapy for thousands of LGBTQ youth.

The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because evidence shows youth who experience rejection from their family are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. According to the Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to the horrors of conversion therapy, and that number grows by thousands each year. We estimate that nearly 80,000 LGBTQ youth will be subjected to forms of conversion therapy in the next few years.

“We’re incredibly excited to see Delaware join 13 other states in protecting LGBTQ youth from dangerous and discredited conversion therapy practices,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “We look forward to continuing the important work of Trevor Project’s “50 Bills 50 States” initiative to ultimately protect LGBTQ young people nationwide.”

“I’m excited to see Delaware become the 14th state to protect LGBTQ young people from the discredited practice of conversion therapy, and the 5th state to do so this year alone,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “I’m proud to continue working alongside legislators from both sides of the aisle nationwide to eliminate conversion therapy throughout the U.S.”

The Trevor Project’s “50 Bills 50 States” campaign works to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. People can sign up to join “50 Bills 50 States” by texting “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Hawaii Becomes 12th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

Honolulu, HI—Hawaii Governor David Ige today signed SB270, a bill that protects LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy and establishes the sexual orientation counseling task force. The discredited practice of conversion therapy falsely claims to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, and is widely opposed by prominent professional health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Supported by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, Senators Chang, Baker, and Rhoads introduced the bill on January 20, 2017. The organization supported the bill’s passage through its 50 Bills 50 States initiative by assisting in the drafting of the bill, and by directing its network of Hawaiian volunteer activists to contact local legislators, encouraging them to support this critical bill to protect LGBTQ young people. The organization also worked with State Rep Michael Golojuch, Chairman of the LGBT Caucus of Democratic Party of Hawaii, NCLR and HRC to support the bill’s passage.

The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because youth from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. Over the last 12 months, more than 120 young people from Hawaii have contacted The Trevor Project’s crisis services.

“We’re seeing significant momentum to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, and The Trevor Project calls on even more states to join Hawaii in banning this barbaric practice,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “We look forward to continuing 50 Bills 50 States’ important work alongside new state legislators to protect even more LGBTQ young people nationwide.”

“I’m excited to see Hawaii become the 12th state to protect LGBTQ young people from the discredited practice of conversion therapy,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “I’m proud to continue working alongside legislators nationwide to eliminate conversion therapy throughout the U.S.”

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. People can sign up to join 50 Bills 50 States by texting “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

CONTACT

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Maryland Governor Hogan Signs Landmark Bill to Protect LGBTQ Youth Statewide

Working With Delegate Bonnie Cullison and Senator Richard Madaleno, The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States Campaign Helped Draft Bill and Activated Grassroots Advocates

Annapolis, MD—Republican Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan today signed the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, a bill that bans the barbaric practice of conversion therapy against LGBTQ young people. Conversion therapists falsely claim to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, a practice opposed by prominent professional health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Supported by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, and authored by Delegate Bonnie Cullison and Senator Richard Madaleno, the bill was first approved by Maryland House Delegates 95-27 and Senate 34-12.

The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because youth from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. The organization supported the bill’s passage through its 50 Bills 50 States initiative by working closely with Delegate Cullison to draft and pass the legislation, and prepared Q&A for legislators with partners such as Free State Justice on the sensitive topic. In addition, The Trevor Project managed a network of local 50 Bills 50 States volunteers who encouraged the state to pass the bill – over 100 calls and emails were sent to legislators across Maryland by its campaign advocates.

“Banning conversion therapy in Maryland is a victory in our fight to protect LGBTQ young people everywhere from this dangerous and discredited practice,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “I’m proud of Maryland legislators for voting to eliminate this practice statewide and look forward to working closely with other state legislators to do the same.”

“As a conversion therapy survivor, I identified with Delegate Meagan Simonaire’s moving testimony about her conversion therapy experience,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “Working with Delegate Cullison to pass this bill means a lot to The Trevor Project’s volunteer advocates, and 50 Bills 50 States will continue to work to protect LGBTQ youth across the country.”

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. People can sign up to join 50 Bills 50 States by texting “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

CONTACT

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


California Assembly Passes Bill to Ban Conversion Therapy With Major Local Support From The Trevor Project

Los Angeles, CA – California Assemblymember Evan Low’s AB 2943, a bill recognizing the barbaric practice of conversion therapy as consumer fraud against LGBTQ adults and young people, passed today with a bipartisan vote of 50 to 18 in the California Assembly with support from co-sponsor The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. Conversion therapists falsely claim to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, a practice opposed by prominent professional health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state. The organization supported Low’s bill through its 50 Bills 50 States initiative, including an April 10, 2018 testimony from conversion therapy survivor and The Trevor Project’s Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs, Sam Brinton. In addition, The Trevor Project activated its network with nearly 200 grassroots volunteers in California calling or reaching out to their legislators on the importance of passing the bill. The organization also worked closely with Assemblymember Low and Equality California to draft the bill and coordinate outreach to educate fellow assemblymembers on the legislation and the dangers of conversion therapy. The California Senate will soon vote on the bill before it reaches the office of California Governor Jerry Brown.

“I’m so proud of California legislators for passing legislation to ban the fraudulent practice of conversion therapy to protect its LGBTQ adults and young people,” said Brinton. “This historic first legislative body vote is a great first step in making the country a safer place for the LGBTQ community.”

“The pain and fear suffered by those who have been subjected to conversion therapy is something that I can personally identify with,” said Assemblymember Evan Low. “This legislation finally creates accountability for those who claim to provide therapy but are in fact peddling an unfounded and destructive practice.”

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. People can sign up to join 50 Bills 50 States by texting “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

CONTACT

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Washington Makes History, Becoming the 10th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

This week the state of Washington made history, becoming the first state in 2018, and the 10th state in total, to pass protections for LGBTQ youth from the barbaric practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists falsely claim be able to change LGBTQ youth into straight and cisgender youth. Prominent professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among numerous others—oppose the use of conversion therapy on youth, calling the practice harmful and ineffective.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state and was proud to submit testimony with our partners such as Equal Rights Washington on the critical need to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills in 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban the practice in every state in the country.

“Washington has been leading by example. So far bills have been introduced in 34 states, passed in over 30 cities, and nearing passage in states from coast to coast” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. They continued “Every week, we celebrate as another local ordinance like the City of Milwaukee or piece of state legislation like the State of Maryland moves closer to protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.”

There is a lot of work to do. New research by The Williams Institute shows that there are an estimated 20,000 LGBT youth in the U.S. ages 13 to 17 who will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before the age of 18. Also, approximately 57,000 youth will undergo the treatment from a religious or spiritual advisor. Researchers also found that approximately 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives, including about 350,000 who received it as adolescents.

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is dangerous and should be banned everywhere. We are thankful that politicians on both sides of the aisle in Washington States have joined together to protect LGBTQ youth,” said Amit Paley, The Trevor Project’s CEO and Executive Director. “This victory is part of a growing movement to stop conversion across the country and we won’t rest until conversion therapy is banned in all 50 states.”

“Banning conversion therapy sends a loud and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth: there is nothing wrong with you. As a community, we love and support every person and we celebrate the diversity that makes us stronger.I am proud that Washington is standing up for our queer youth and I look forward to the day that these monstrous practices are illegal in every state,” said  Sen. Marko Liias, lead sponsor of this critical legislation.

“As a mother of a teenage son I am grateful for the steps Governor Inslee takes today to protect the LGBTQ youth in our state. A dear friend experienced conversion therapy. My heart aches for them and the pain they endured.” said Amanda Williams, a local activist working with the Trevor Project and the 50 Bills 50 States campaign. She continued, “Parenting is the hardest, best thing I’ve ever done. Everyday we’re confronted with confusing, conflicting advice. Every day we do our best to make the best choices for our kids. Thank you for taking a dangerous, destructive choice off the table for some of our most vulnerable children.”

The bill was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on March 28, 2018.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Milwaukee Becomes First City of Wisconsin to Protect LGBTQ Youth From Horrors of Conversion Therapy

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Today The City of Milwaukee passed a critical ordinance with protections for LGBTQ youth from the barbaric practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists falsely claim be able to change LGBTQ youth into straight and cisgender youth. Prominent professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among numerous others—oppose the use of conversion therapy on youth, calling the practice harmful and ineffective.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state and was proud to submit testimony with our partners such as the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center on the critical need to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills in 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban the practice in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced in 34 states.

New research by The Williams Institute shows that there are an estimated 20,000 LGBT youth in the U.S. ages 13 to 17 who will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before the age of 18. Also, approximately 57,000 youth will undergo the treatment from a religious or spiritual advisor. Researchers also found that approximately 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives, including about 350,000 who received it as adolescents.

“Milwaukee is the largest city in my home state of Wisconsin, and to see their stance on this issue is critical to the well-being of youth in the state.” said Coltan James, a student activist with The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign. “I hope this is a catalyst where more and more Wisconsin cities tell us “you can’t change things that aren’t wrong with you.”

“From Alderman Cavalier Johnsons sponsorship and eloquent articulation on this important nature of the ordinance to Alderman and Council President Ashanti Hamilton’s leadership, this was a great testament to the City of Milwaukee’s dedication to protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for the The Trevor Project.

This ordinance will not limit the freedom to practice a person’s faith as some have suggested and as Alderwoman Chantia Lewis said “If our work as pastors results in suicide, we as Christians have not done our jobs.” Thank you to the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee for doing their job to protect every citizen including LGBTQ youth.

“It was a heartfelt victory for our children.” said Tony Snell Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Assemblymembers Berman and O’Donnell Introduce Legislation to Prevent Student Suicide

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) introduced legislation aimed at preventing student suicide, the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds.

“Schools are on the front lines of suicide prevention,” said Assemblymember Berman. “It is imperative that teachers and all school staff have the tools they need to be trained to recognize the warning signs and respond appropriately. This legislation will support our schools’ efforts to improve suicide awareness and prevent further tragedies.”

AB 2639 would direct the California Department of Education to identify evidence-based, online suicide prevention training programs and provide funding to make the identified training available to school staff and students at all public schools serving students in grades 7 to 12, including charter schools. The training program must address the needs of high-risk groups such as youth bereaved by suicide; youth with disabilities, mental illness, or substance use disorders; youth experiencing homelessness or in foster care; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning youth.

“LGBTQ youth are at very high risk for suicide, and that risk is magnified even further for young people who are members of one or more additional high-risk communities,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “This legislation will save young lives by making funding available for training that focuses on high-risk students and intervention strategies so teachers and school staff will know how to help when they see a young person in crisis.”

Students spend roughly 1,000 hours per year in school. Given the amount of time that school staff spend with students, they are in a prime position to recognize the warning signs of suicide. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention recognizes the unique position of teachers and other school staff in preventing suicide and specifically states that teachers and school counselors should receive suicide prevention training.

“As a parent, a teacher, and as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, the well-being of our students is always a top priority for me,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said. “This measure is an effort to better equip our teachers and staff to support our students and ensure their safety.”

In 2016, AB 2246 (O’Donnell) was signed into law requiring schools serving students in grades 7 to 12 to adopt a suicide prevention policy. AB 2639 builds upon this legislation and takes the next step in offering schools a convenient way to train school staff at no cost to them.

“As the nation’s leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project proudly stands with Assemblymembers Berman and O’Donnell to provide the critical next step in California’s leadership in the prevention of suicide,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

Assemblymember Marc Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Website of Assemblymember Marc Berman: www.assembly.ca.gov/Berman. Assemblymember Marc Berman’s official headshot is available here.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Michigan Takes Major Step in Protecting LGBTQ Youth

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Michigan just took a major step in protecting LGBTQ youth by being one of the first states to introduce a bill this year to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapists claim to reduce and eliminate the homosexual or bisexual orientation of youth, or force a child to reject their gender identity. Every major mental health professional organization has refuted the practice of conversion therapy as ineffective and potentially harmful yet new research from the Williams Institute estimates that 20,000 youth are still at risk of being forced into conversion therapy by a licensed mental health professional. Michigan may soon join the nine states which have passed similar legislation and the more than 30 states which have considered protections against conversion therapy.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Representative Adam Zemke of the 55th House District of Michigan House of Representatives for submitting House Bill 5550. The Trevor Project frequently receives calls of LGBTQ youth in crisis stemming from their experience with conversion therapy and aims to advocate for the eventual end of state sanctioned conversion therapy across the country via the 50 Bills 50 States campaign.

Conversion therapy is snake oil. Representative Zemke and Representative Darrin Camilleri sent a letter to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today urging him to investigate FORGE Ministries and Metro City Church for a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, whether FORGE Ministries and Metro City Church committed any unfair, unconscionable or deceptive practices. Reps. Jon Hoadley, Tim Sneller, and Jeremy Moss  also signed onto the letter.

“No young person should ever be subjected to the horrors of conversion therapy” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “We are grateful for the work of Representative Zemke in taking an important step to bring this barbaric practice to an end in the state of Michigan. Churches like Metro City Church must understand that we should not be forced to change something we never chose.”

“It is wildly inappropriate to offer conversion therapy classes in our communities, and doing so is misrepresentative of our values as a welcoming state,” Zemke said. “I am proud to sponsor a bill to prohibit these practices in Michigan. Not only has scientific evidence overwhelmingly found that these approaches fail to accomplish their purported task, but they are also profoundly destructive and painful for the participating individual and his or her loved ones. It’s time to put an end to this terrible practice once and for all.”

If you would like to help The Trevor Project protect LGBTQ youth from the horrors of conversion therapy you can text TREVOR to 40649.

If you’d like to learn more about conversion therapy and the nationwide efforts to end it you can go to our 50 Bills 50 States campaign website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/50-bills-50-states/.

You can also help support this important work by donating here: www.TheTrevorProject.org/give.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]