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 world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7/365 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, 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 trained crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386 and www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help
The Trevor Project