Photo by Matt H. Wade, CC BY-SA 3.0
Four members of Congress have sent a letter urging the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to ban conversion therapy, once and for all. Washington Senator Patty Murray, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and California Representatives Jackie Speier and Ted Lieu want the FTC to stop all businesses from using the controversial therapy that allegedly changes an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Conversion therapy is a dangerous and discredited treatment that attempts to use shaming, guilt, rejection, and other negative techniques to alter an indivdiual's identity. In the letter, the democratic Congress members wrote, "Conversion therapy, also known as 'reparative' or 'sexual orientation' therapy, is a practice that has been widely discredited by nearly all major American medical, professional counseling, educational, and social work professional organizations." Despite the lack of validity, conversion therapy has only been banned in a handful of states including Oregon, New Jersey, and California.
The letter further encourages positive forms of therapy that would keep LGBT youth from feeling alienated and alone. "Therapeutic support can be useful for children and youth who are LGBT or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, resulting in more confidence and acceptance, which are important elements of healthy child development."
One can only hope that the FTC will take this letter into serious consideration and limit or ban conversion therapy. No LGBT youth should be made to feel rejected by anyone.