Petition to End Conversion Therapy for Minors in Kentucky
Conversion therapy is torture. It is the dangerous practice of coercing LGBTQ youth to change their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. These practices range from aversion therapy to electroshock therapy, and while the term “therapy” attempts to disguise this practice as a treatment or remedy, simply put it is abuse. Not only is it dangerous, but it is ineffective. Individuals subjected to it often have long-lasting negative effects, such as chronic depression, drug and alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, an inability to maintain healthy adult relationships and attachments, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and suicide. This is particularly harmful to children and youth, who don't have legal responsibility for themselves and have no choice but to undergo it.
Every major medical and psychological association in the country has denounced conversion therapy and have established ethical rules against it. While there are some practitioners who continue to make false claims that conversion therapy is successful in converting LGBTQ kids, more than 100 local institutions including the Kentucky Medical Association, Kentucky Psychological Association, and Kentucky Mental Health Coalition have denounced the use of these unsafe practices.
Kentucky needs legislation to ensure LGBTQ youth are no longer legally subjected to the pain caused by conversion therapy. Our bills would do just this. Our bills target conversion therapy for children and youth under age 18. Consenting adults have the legal authority to decide for themselves, however, it is our responsibility to protect Kentucky youth who don’t have the same.
It is the state’s duty to regulate professional licenses to ensure the health and well-being of our community. By allowing institutions to perpetuate misleading and outright false information about the practices and effects of conversion therapy, we continue to do LGBTQ youth a great disservice. If our bills pass, Kentucky would be the 21st state to pass legislation limiting this practice.
We the undersigned call on Kentucky Legislators to:
1. Support a ban on conversion therapy for minors in Kentucky;
2. Increase public awareness that attempting to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity can be severely damaging to their mental and physical wellbeing;
3. Remove or limit advertisements that suggest someone can change their sexual orientation or gender identity;
4. Provide licensing boards the ability to discipline practitioners who attempt to convert LGBTQ children and youth.
Ending conversion therapy isn’t a partisan issue and nearly half of the laws on the books protecting LGBTQ youth from these harmful practices were signed by GOP governors, including states like Utah, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Nevada. To date, 380 Republican lawmakers have sponsored or voted in favor of such legislation going into 2019. Please consider co-signing and supporting our bills to protect youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
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Together we can make Kentucky a safer place for youth.
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Don't Forget to call your Reps!!
Please call your reps and urge them to co-sponsor legislation to protect Kentucky's youth from conversion therapy! It’s SUPER easy. Just dial 1-800-372-7181 and ask to leave a message for your representatives. They will ask for your name, address, and a short message. All you have to say is “I want to urge my legislators to co-sponsor The Youth Mental Health Protection Act to end so-called Conversion Therapy for minors". Takes less than 2 minutes!
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