(San Francisco, CA, April 14, 2015)—Today, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14th) introduced the “Stop Harming Our Kids” (SHOK) Resolution of 2015, calling on states to pass laws protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, a set of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to be able to change sexual orientation and gender identity. Congresswoman Speier has been a longtime advocate for efforts to end conversion therapy, having introduced a similar resolution in 2012. Her move comes one week after the White House, Surgeon General, and other national leaders joined the call to support LGBTQ youth by ending these ineffective and harmful practices for good.
“We applaud Congresswoman Speier for her genuine leadership and commitment to protecting young people and their families from the dangers of these widely discredited practices,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We are proud to stand with the Congresswoman in urging every state to adopt legislation to ensure that no young person or vulnerable family is exploited by mental health professionals peddling devastatingly harmful psychological practices to fix something in our children that was not broken in the first place.”
NCLR #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Sam Ames added: “We are honored to fight shoulder to shoulder with Congresswoman Speier, as we have for years, to finally put an end to conversion therapy for good. While the events of the last week have been historic, the introduction of the SHOK Resolution marks the next step in a much longer journey. Today is not a day to declare victory, but a day to recommit ourselves to the vision of a world where no child contemplates taking their own life just because they are LGBTQ.”
NCLR started its Youth Project more than two decades ago to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth at home, in school, and in public systems of care through litigation, policy advocacy, and systemic reform. The project prioritizes full integration and affirmation of transgender youth, fair and equal treatment of LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care, and ending conversion therapy through NCLR’s #BornPerfect™ campaign.
NCLR has been at the forefront of efforts to protect youth and their families from conversion therapy for more than two decades and, alongside the Human Rights Campaign and state equality groups, has helped pass legislation in California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. NCLR launched its #BornPerfect™ campaign last year to stop conversion therapy across the country by 2019 by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Learn more about the #BornPerfect™ campaign.