A number of civil rights organizations are filing a Federal Trade Commission complaint with the government in hopes of ending the deceitful practices of a gay conversion therapy group. The suit attacks People Can Change (PCC), a gay conversion therapy group that claims to make people “free from the constant pull of homosexual desires,” according to their website. The official complaint comes from the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The PCC website claims the following on their website in regards to evidence that supports the efficacy of conversion therapy:
“Anecdotal evidence that change is possible is abundant. But the evidence is even much more than anecdotal. In more than 50 years of research, including 48 studies we will reference here, there are data and published accounts documenting easily more than 3,000 cases of change from homosexual to heterosexual attracting, identity and functioning,"
The complaint filed by the organizations is grounded on the fact that there is no reliable scientific evidence that proves gay conversion therapy works. Furthermore, the document argues and offers evidence that conversion therapy can be harmful to an individual. The groups summarize that the entire practice of conversion therapy stems from the outdated and discredited belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be cured.
The complaint is significant since PCC is considered to be a prominent gay conversion therapy organization. According to Huffington Post, Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, hopes that the complaint will discourage parents from attempting this harmful form of therapy.
“Most people who are subjecting their kids to conversion therapy are doing so because they want to help them,” Warbelow said. “It seems counterintuitive, but they really do love their kid. And this we hope will also dissuade them from pursuing [this course of action]."
25 states already have laws protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy. Samantha Ames, a campaign coordinator and attorney with NCLR hopes that the complaint will be enough to end the entire conversion therapy industry nationwide.
"This historic complaint is not only the first clear opportunity the Obama administration has had to end these deadly practices for good," Ames said, "but, if investigated fully, could very well be the final nail in the coffin of the entire conversion therapy industry."