Equality Virginia Calls on Advocates: Speak Out Against Conversion Therapy Now!

Equality Virginia has been working hard, advocating for banning the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” or sexual orientation change efforts for minors. (Click here to read up on our progress so far!) Our team of advocates has really made progress on this issue and we are excited to ask you to take action. 

We are working with all five Virginia boards that license health care providers – including psychologists, counselors, social workers, medical health providers, and nurses – to ensure that no child in Virginia ever again experiences “conversion therapy” at the hands of health care professionals that they trust. Luckily, we’ve made progress and have already begun the regulatory process that will officially ban the practice here in VA.

Earlier this month, the public comment forum for the licensing Board of Medicine opened and will remain open through December 11, 2019. That means that right now, this board is asking Virginians to speak up and voice support for this ban.

We’re here to help you speak up on this issue.

TALKING POINTS

These sentence have been rigorously tested and are proven to be effective messages when convincing policy-makers to ban this harmful practice. Use these to craft the message that you will submit:

  • This guidance will protect youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • These dangerous and discredited practices are based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental illness that needs to be cured—a view with no scientific basis.
  • This guidance protects young people from state-licensed therapists in Virginia who falsely claim to parents and youth that being LGBTQ is a mental illness, and therefore taking advantage of parents and harming vulnerable youth.
  • These harmful practices use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try and change who they are.
  • These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts.
  • No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are is wrong. Mental health professionals should provide care that is ethical and affirming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people.
  • We can’t allow one more young person to be targeted and hurt by these dangerous and discredited practices.

Click the link below to submit your personal message. Make sure to include your name & location!

Board of Medicine

Equality Virginia is so grateful for the hard work that you put into protecting our LGBT friends, family members, and neighbors. We could not do this crucial work without you.

E-mail Kristen at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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