US: Campaign launched to end gay-to-straight conversion therapy ‘in the next five years’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has today launched a campaign aiming to end gay-to-straight conversion therapy in the US within “the next five years”.

The new campaign, named “#BornPerfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy”, will attempt to pass laws across the US “to protect LGBT kids, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices”.

The #BornPerfect campaign comes in the same month as the adoption by the Texas Republican Party of a state platform endorsing the use of therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality.

‘Conversion therapy’ covers a range of practices, primarily behavioural, cognitive or psychoanalytic, aiming to change, reduce or suppress same-sex attraction or gender identity in patients, often minors. It often leads to depression and self-harm, and has been widely discredited by organisations including the American Psychological Association and the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

The NCLR announced on their website today: “NCLR has been working to protect LGBT kids from these practices for more than 20 years, securing legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012 and in New Jersey in 2013. Today, we are working with legislators and LGBT leaders in more than a dozen other states and helping bring similar protections to the rest of the country.”

It added: “We are committed to ending these dangerous and stigmatizing practices across the country once and for all – relegating them to the dustbin of history, and ensuring every child knows they were #BornPerfect.”

Earlier this month, the New York State assembly voted to pass a reparative-therapy ban, but the bill was blocked by the state senate, preventing New York from joining California and New Jersey in legislating against the practice.

In April this year, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to reject a similar bill.

In Britain in the same month, the government came under fire from Labour MPs for failing to regulate against gay-to-straight conversion therapy in the UK.