Conversion Therapy Listed on Proposed Official GOP Platform Sparks Outrage

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The proposed official platform of the GOP is being touted as one of the most far-right and extreme in recent history, and included in the socially conservative proposal is the support of the largely discredited (and banned in many states) practice of gay conversion therapy.

SPLC spoke out almost immediately saying:

Modern science has entirely and thoroughly debunked conversion therapy – a term used to describe the discredited practices that purportedly can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Not only has conversion therapy been proven to be fraudulent, it can cause grave harm, up to and including suicidality. And it tears families apart.

As we recently reported, those who continue to practice it entirely reject modern scientific knowledge in favor of myths about the cause of homosexuality – myths that reinforce the shame and stigma the LGBT community has faced for so long. This is why several states and municipalities have banned conversion therapy for minors and why more than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate have signed onto legislation that would outlaw it for everyone.

Anti-LGBT extremist groups embrace conversion therapy because it is premised on precisely the same lies that undergird their hate. Indeed, the person responsible for pushing the pro-conversion therapy plank is none other than Tony Perkins, head of theFamily Research Council, who has said that pedophilia “is a homosexual problem.

Trevor Project follows up:

A preponderance of evidence shows that conversion therapy poses real health risks to LGBTQ youth including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidal ideation. We urge all participants involved in deciding party platforms to use science to drive decision making.  And to ensure no platform policy is designed to hurt, discriminate or take away basic liberties and freedoms for LGBT people,’ says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in the United States between the ages of 13 to 24, and LGB youth are more four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Families that reject their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity often send their child to undergo conversion therapy. Research has shown that youth from highly rejecting families are more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide. It is incumbent upon our nation’s leaders and political parties to adopt platforms that are rooted in scientific research and do not put more young lives at risk of suicide.

Republicans will vote on the platform at next month’s convention.

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