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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Health Professions
Guidance Document Change: Consistent with the established position of the NASW, the Board considers “conversion therapy” or “sexual orientation change efforts” to be services that have the potential to be a danger to clients, especially minors. Thus, under regulations governing practitioners licensed or registered by the Board, practicing conversion therapy/sexual orientation change efforts with minors could result in a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.
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5/14/19  10:43 pm
Commenter: Dean B.

Ban Conversion Therapy
 

I am a bisexual man, and I have been in a loving relationship with my husband for over 10 years. I have always been bisexual, and thanks to the love and support of my husband, friends, and family, I’ve always been encouraged to be who I am. I’ve had the love and support needed to help me grow, learn, earn a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and become a healthy and successful adult.

As the Virginia Board of Psychology stated in Guidance Document 125-9, Practice of Conversion Therapy, Board of Psychology Response to Public Comment:

“The Board affirms the position of its profession, as expressed by the American Psychological Association, that conversion therapy has the potential to inflict harm to clients, especially to minors, and that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that psychological interventions can change sexual orientation. Such interventions presume that homosexuality is a mental illness or developmental disorder to be treated; the Board does not agree with such a presumption. The Board affirms psychological services that provide family and social support, facilitate coping, and reduce feelings of rejection and unworthiness.”

The thought of anyone—especially a young person—being told that who they love is wrong and to be coerced into undergoing a discredited practice sickens me. As the Virginia Board of Psychology affirms, sexual identity is not an illness—it is not something to be cured, and there is no scientific basis for “conversion therapy.” To allow a child to be subjected to “conversion therapy” is denying them a happy and healthy life—it uses rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to change who they are and increases the risk of depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

I support Guidance Document 140-12. Please ban conversion therapy. Who you are and who you love is not an illness.