I am in support of the categorical ban to practice conversion therapy, and to make it a violation of our ethics and practice to use CT as a means of changing a person's affectual orientation and/or gender identity. So-called "Conversion Therapy" is unethical, harmful, and dangerous. As such -- especially given the rise in suicide rates statewide -- it should be banned in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
These dangerous and discredited practices are based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental illness that needs to be cured—a view with no scientific basis.
Let us protect young people from therapists in Virginia who falsely claim to parents and youth that being LGBTQ is a mental illness, and therefore taking advantage of parents and harming vulnerable youth.
These harmful practices use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try and change who they are.
These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts.
Young people should never be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are is wrong.
Let's NOT allow one more young person to be targeted and hurt by these dangerous and discredited practices.