Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Press Release

State Legislation & Policy

NCLR Protects LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy with New Toolkits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2018
Contact: Lauren Gray, NCLR
lgray@nclrights.org / 215-983-3099

NCLR Launches Toolkits to Protect LGBTQ Youth in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems from Conversion Therapy
NCLR says, “While a child is in the care of the State, it is critical that State systems ensure they are protected from this harm”

SAN FRANCISCO—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) today released two toolkits for child welfare and juvenile justice agency employees on how to protect LGBTQ youth from the serious harm caused by conversion therapy. Conversion therapy, sometimes called “ex-gay therapy,” is an attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity and has been debunked by every major medical and mental health organization in the U.S. Ending Conversion Therapy in Child Welfare and Ending Conversion Therapy in Juvenile Justice help state agencies recognize how and when LGBTQ youth may be subjected to conversion therapy while in the care of the state, explain the negative impact of conversion therapy and its close relationship to family rejection, and include tips and model language about how to develop policies protecting LGBTQ youth from these harms.

“From social workers and foster parents to probation officers and facility chaplains, these toolkits are designed to assist child welfare and juvenile justice agencies with protecting youth from harmful, ineffective conversion therapy,” said NCLR Youth Policy Counsel and Born Perfect Campaign Coordinator Carolyn Reyes. “Conversion therapy has been denounced by every major medical and mental health organization and has been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide. While a child is in the care of the State, it is critical that State systems ensure they are protected from this harm.”

These toolkits include:

  • Statisitcs regarding the negative health and mental health outcomes for LGBTQ youth who experience conversion therapy as severe family rejection
  • Fact sheet explaining conversion therapy, outlining its harms and what is being done to end the practice
  • Policy and position statements by 16 major medical and mental health associations condemning conversion therapy
  • Tips for developing child welfare and juvenile justice policies protecting youth from conversion therapy
  • Examples of provisions protecting youth from conversion therapy from 22 state agencies
  • Model policy protecting youth from conversion therapy
  • Model comprehensive LGBTQ policy with provisions addressing conversion therapy
  • Organizational and social science resources on conversion therapy, as well as resources for survivors of these practices

For the past 20 years, NCLR has been working closely with conversion therapy survivors to end these harmful practices. In 2014, NCLR launched its Born Perfect campaign, which is committed to ending conversion therapy nationwide. Through the Born Perfect campaign, conversion therapy is now prohibited in 13 states (California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire) and the District of Columbia. In Delaware, anti-conversion therapy legislation has passed and is awaiting signature by the governor.

For more information on NCLR’s Born Perfect campaign to end conversion therapy, click here: http://www.nclrights.org/our-work/bornperfect/.

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org

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