Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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4/16/19  10:41 am
Commenter: Patty Mathison, George Mason University

I support the Ban on Conversion Therapy


Conversion therapy is unethical and should be banned. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech, it is a harmful approach that has not proven to be effective but instead has shown significant harm to the individuals who have gone through this. 

Conversion therapy is premised on the false notion that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that should be cured, despite all major medical associations’ agreement that LGBTQ identities are a normal variant of human nature. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness in 1973. Also a 2007 report by an American Psychological Association task force found that “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through [sexual orientation change efforts].”

This is not about religious freedom or freedom of speech. This is about causing unnecessary and significantly deep harm to individuals. That is against what we do as counselors. Our aim is to help heal, not to hurt, harm and criticize. Please consider this ban thoughtfully. It is deeply unethical and it is not effective. 

CommentID: 71461