Mission

Safe and supported children

All children should receive care that first, does no harm.

The State of Georgia has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors. We are advocating for passage of legislation (HB 580) that prohibits mental health professionals licensed in Georgia from providing conversion therapy to minors. Conversion therapy includes a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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, which contribute to an elevated risk of suicide.

According to the American Psychoanalytic Association:

Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ ‘repair,’ change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.”

Expressions of that psychological pain are manifest in the actions of children. A 2018 study found that attempts to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ adolescents contribute to multiple health and adjustment problems in young adulthood, including higher levels of depression and suicidal behavior.

Converse facebook picture.jpg
 

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.

 

mission-cover2-01.jpg

Major Medical Organizations Oppose Conversion Therapy

All major medical organizations have voiced opposition to 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

The American Association of Christian Counselors, recognizing that conversion therapies are harmful, removed language from its Code of Ethics that promoted conversion therapy.

What Should Georgia Do?

The State of Georgia has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including LGBT youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts. 

Conversion Therapy Harmful and Ineffective

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of ‘reparative therapy’ as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation” and “[t]he potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great and include depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.”

The only study purporting to show success from conversion therapy has been discredited; the methods used to gather data from patients were fatally flawed, and, consequently, its results fail to withstand scrutiny. Robert Spitzer, the study’s primary author has apologized for producing misleading research.

The American Psychoanalytic Association writes:

Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ “repair,” change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.”

Expressions of that psychological pain are manifest in the actions and emotions of children. According to data from a recently-released survey from the CDC, 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.