WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in response to an 11th Circuit Court decision to block certain laws banning LGBTQ+ conversion therapy. Rep. Lieu authored the first ban on youth conversion therapy in the nation as a California State Senator and has introduced federal bans in the 114th, 115th and 116th Congresses.
"I am disappointed and dismayed at this court decision. It's wrong on the facts. Banning conversion therapy doesn't concern free speech - it's about fraud. Conversion therapy peddles treatments for an ailment that doesn't exist. There is nothing wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer. Suggesting someone can sell a "cure" to being LGBTQ+ is harmful and dishonest. That's why I wrote the first federal bill to ban conversion therapy as a deceptive practice. Instead, the courts and our legislative bodies should focus on ways to affirm the identities of members of the LGBTQ+ community and create a more just and equitable society."
About conversion therapy:
According to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, approximately 698,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to conversion therapy in their lives. Roughly 16,000 LGBTQ teens in states without bans will be endangered by conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare provider. In states that have banned the practice, approximately 10,000 LGBT youth have been protected.
Conversion therapy can cause lasting harm to the mental health and wellbeing of those subjected to it. Those who have experienced conversion therapy are more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. An Ipsos/Reuters poll found that 56 percent of adults in the U.S. support banning youth conversion therapy by mental health professionals.