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AMA supports laws protecting youth from conversion therapy, NCLR responds
2019-11-20

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CHICAGO, IL — Today, the American Medical Association ( AMA ) announced that it will formally support state and federal legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the life-threatening practice of conversion therapy. The AMA, which has long opposed conversion therapy for its lack of scientific basis, stated that "it agrees with medical experts that the lack of regulation on [the practice] opens the door to fraud, harm, and trauma for many adults and children in the U.S."

AMA Board Member William E. Kobler, M.D., said "it is clear to the AMA that the conversion therapy needs to end in the United States given the risk of deliberate harm to LGBTQ people. Conversion therapy has no foundation as scientifically valid medical care and lacks credible evidence to support its efficacy or safety."

Statement by Mathew Shurka, Conversion therapy survivor and Born Perfect Strategist: "As a survivor of conversion therapy, I am grateful to the American Medical Association for taking this critical step to help protect young people from this dangerous practice. Today's announcement sends a powerful message to young people and their families that LGBT youth are born perfect."

Statement by National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter: "We applaud the American Medical Association for taking this important step to protect the health and well-being of LGBTQ youth. Over the past two decades, every leading medical and mental health professional association has warned the public that attempts to change a young person's sexual orientation or gender identity are dangerous and put youth at risk of serious harms, including suicide and depression. Today's announcement is a logical extension of that medical consensus. We hope that state legislators will heed this call and ensure that licensed mental health professionals do not subject minors to this harmful practice."

Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy created by The National Center for Lesbian Rights in 2014 by passing laws across the country to protect LGBT children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices. ( bornperfect.org/ )

—From a press release


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