I support this Guidance Document
Religious based homophobia cannot replace sound science. As a Virginia Assistant State Director for American Atheists AND as parent of a gay transgender son, I oppose all legislation designed to destroy the pershonhood and individuality of anyone, young people included. It is hard enough for these children because they are bullied, harrased, or even worse. We need to support our children not teach them that who they are is wrong. That will cause trauma, which in turn will cause further damage and could even trigger mental illness. It is time that we ban the barbaric practice of conversion therapy which has shown to be detrimental and harmful to our youth.
There is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, conversion therapy poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer young people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and even suicide.
Nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have examined conversion therapy and issued cautionary position statements on these practices.
We must stop with this religious based homophobia and let kids be kids, raised with love and support for who they are, and let's show them that they matter, and not try to convince them that they are something they are not and bad or sinful if they just want to be themselves. That is TRAUMA and hurtful.