House Votes to Protect Youth from “Conversion Therapy”
Message of HB 2307 to LGBT youth: “There is nothing wrong with you.”
Today, the Oregon House voted 41-18 to protect youth from dangerous, discredited “conversion therapy,” which aims to change one’s sexual orientation or suppress a person’s gender identity or expression.
House Bill 2307, the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, will prevent licensed medical care providers from practicing “conversion therapy” on youth under the age of 18. During committee hearings, legislators heard numerous stories from people who survived these practices in their youth. This harmful “therapy” is based on the idea that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is a mental illness that needs to be cured — which puts youth at risk for serious harms such as depression, substance abuse and suicide.
“We’ve heard from many people who underwent attempts at conversion in their youth that left them with lifelong scars for themselves and their families,” says Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), who carried the bill on the floor. “The attempts at conversion left these individuals feeling ashamed of their identities, and ashamed they were not able to cure themselves.”
“HB 2307 is a bill with a simple message to Oregon’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth,” Rep. Nosse continued. “And that message is this: ‘There is nothing wrong with you.’”
“Conversion therapy” has been discredited by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American School Counselor Association. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration.