Congressional Democrats have recently revived their attempt to pass a legislation that would make “conversion therapy” practices illegal in the United States. While certain religious groups argue for its efficacy, several scientific studies have debunked this practice, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.
The proposed bill, known as The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, was brought forward in Congress by Democratic Representative Ted Lieu from California. Democratic Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey and Democratic Senator Patty Murray from Washington also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
According to Lieu, in an official statement, this bill aims to officially ban conversion therapies for “any individual” in the United States. It also includes provisions to make it illegal to provide assistance in carrying out this practice for financial gain. A total of 62 Democratic representatives have shown their support for this legislation.
LGBTQ activist groups and certain mental health organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, have openly endorsed these measures. They argue that conversion therapies lack scientific basis and are rooted in the belief that LGBTQ orientations are abnormal conditions that need to be treated.
According to a brief published by the American Medical Association in 2022, there is a unanimous professional agreement against viewing these identities as pathologies. The brief also highlighted empirical evidence that supports the notion that various sexual orientations are not associated with mental illness but rather represent normal and diverse forms of human expression.
Furthermore, a report released by the Williams Institute, a public policy think tank, in 2020 revealed that LGBTQ individuals in the United States who undergo these therapies reported significant problems. The think tank explained that these individuals faced severe depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide as a result of undergoing such practices.
Lieu stated that certain medical organizations in the United States have reached the conclusion that this practice lacks validity and typically harms young LGBTQ individuals. He also expressed his appreciation for the growing number of states in the country that have embraced this movement and taken steps to implement bans on conversion therapy practices.