****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****
The State of Washington holds the honor of the first state legislature to hold a hearing considering legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in 2018. 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. Washington is on track to be the 10th state to pass legislation limiting the practice though another 40 states still allow this terrible crisis to continue.
As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Senators Liias, Walsh, Ranker, Pedersen, Rivers, Keiser, Fain, Frockt, Hunt, and Kuderer for sponsoring Senate Bill 5722 which just received a majority recommendation of passage by the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care. The Trevor Project also praises Representatives Macri, DeBolt, Caldier, Harris, Doglio, Graves, Peterson, Senn, Tarleton, Riccelli, McBride, Stonier, Tharinger, Valdez, Kloba, MacEwen, Kilduff, Jinkins, Reeves, Robinson, Cody, Stanford, Kagi, Appleton, Sawyer, Fitzgibbon, Bergquist, Goodman, Gregerson, Santos, Clibborn, Pollet, Frame, and Slatter for their sponsorship of House Bill 2753 which was just introduced.
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. “Washington is truly moving forward to once and for all remind LGBTQ youth that they are worthy of love just as they are.” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “The favorable committee report of the Senate bill and introduction of the House bill mean that we are well on our way to another great State ending the trauma of conversion therapy by licensed therapists.”
Monisha Harrell from Equal Rights Washington added, “we are working to ban conversion therapy for minors because our children deserve not just tolerance, but acceptance. Their success outcomes are influenced by the support (or lack of support) they receive from their families and friends. We build a stronger community for all when we build one that values humanity and embraces our full diversity.”
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, 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 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org
Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer