The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the introduction of the Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA). SHOK is a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that sexual orientation change efforts are dangerous and harmful and should be prohibited from being practiced on minors and Congress encourages each State to enact a law that prohibits such efforts. SHOK was introduced at a Capitol Hill press conference on November 28th.
“We commend Congresswoman Speier for protecting our nation’s children by condemning dangerous psychological practices,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We call on Congress to do the right thing for our children by supporting the Stop Harming Our Kids resolution.”
Psychological practices to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity have not only been debunked as junk science, but have also been proven harmful to children and adults. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law earlier this year banning these practices, after successful lobbying efforts by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California. All major medical and mental health organizations have criticized reparative therapy and warned of its harms. Those organizations include: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization. Learn more at www.hrc.org/reparativetherapy.
In addition to introducing SHOK, Congresswoman Speier discussed her efforts to investigate whether taxpayer funds have been used to reimburse therapists for these discredited and dangerous practices through the federal Medicaid or TRICARE healthcare programs. She was joined by survivors of conversion practices, mental health professionals, and LGBT advocates, including HRC Legal Director Brian Moulton and representatives from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose work has been instrumental in these efforts.
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