Safe and Supported Children

All children should receive care that first, does no harm. We are advocating for passage of legislation that prohibits mental health professionals licensed in Georgia from providing conversion therapy to minors.

Conversion therapy has no scientific basis, contradicts the medical community’s understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity, and puts young people at risk of serious harm, including severe depression, anxiety, and substance misuse, contributing to an elevated risk of suicide.

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Converse

Converse is a coalition seeking to ensure that Georgia’s children are safe and supported. We are advocating for passage of legislation that prohibits mental health professionals licensed in Georgia from providing conversion therapy services to minors.

NELSON MANDELA

The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.

 

All major medical organizations oppose conversion therapy

Conversion therapy consists of a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. There is a consensus among medical professionals that these practices have no scientific basis, contradict the understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity, and put young people at risk of serious harm, including severe depression, substance misuse, and suicide.

All major medical organizations oppose the practice of conversion therapy, including:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

  • American Counseling Association

  • American Medical Association

  • American Psychiatric Association

  • American Psychological Association

  • American School Counselor Association

  • National Association of Social Workers

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In 2014 the American Association of Christian Counselors removed conversion therapy practices from its Code of Ethics

 
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Conversion Therapy and Suicidality

The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey finds that high school students self-identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are:

  • 3 times more likely to have seriously considered suicide;

  • More than 3 times as likely to have made a suicide plan; and

  • 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide;

than their heterosexual peers.

A recent study found that attempts to change the sexual orientation of LGBT adolescents (conversion therapy) contribute to multiple health and adjustment problems in young adulthood, including suicide attempt rates more than 3 times higher than LGBT adolescents not exposed to conversion therapy.


If you are in crisis, please call

The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386

or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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Peter’s story

Growing up, I had a strong desire to please my parents, my church, and my god. Once I realized I was different than what was expected, I fought even harder to please those who wanted me to be a godly young man.

Conversion Therapy Survivor / Read Full Story

 

Legislation

The proposed legislation lawfully regulates the provision of health care to the most vulnerable of our citizens – our children.

The State of Georgia has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including LGBT youth, and in protecting them against exposure to serious harms caused by conversion therapy efforts.

Through a variety of statutory mechanisms, like those under which the Division of Family and Children Services operates, Georgia has recognized the existence of this compelling interest to intervene in situations of potential harm to children.

The Supreme Court has recognized that states have "broad power to establish standards for licensing practitioners and regulating the practice of professions." Thus, the Court “ha[s] sustained legislation aimed at protecting the physical and emotional well-being of youth even when the laws have operated in the sensitive area of constitutionally protected rights.”


The proposed legislation does just one thing: it requires mental health professionals licensed in Georgia who wish to engage in “practices . . . that seek to change a [minor’s] sexual orientation” either to wait until the client turns 18 or be subject to professional discipline.


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Get Involved

All children should receive care that first, does no harm. Please join Converse in advocating for passage of legislation that prohibits mental health professionals licensed in Georgia from providing conversion therapy to minors. Any help you can provide is another step closer to reaching our goal. Use the links below to learn how to become more involved in keeping our children safe and supported.

 

Become an Advocate

By signing up as an AFSP Georgia Field Advocate, you will become a vital part of a grassroots movement of people who are speaking out to save lives.

Contact Converse

Want to learn more about how we are actively pursuing our goal of safe and supported children? Interested in joining the coalition?