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U.S. President Barack Obama called on Wednesday for an end to psychiatric therapies that seek to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian and transgender youth, the White House said.
The White House statement, written by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, is in response to a petition calling for Obama to back a law to ban conversion therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
The petition was started following the suicide in December of 17-year-old transgender youth Leelah Alcorn, who died after her parents forced her to attend conversion therapy, pulled her out of school and isolated her in an attempt to change her gender identity.
"The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm," Jarrett said.
The questionable, dangerous nature of gay conversion therapy has been the position of the American Psychiatric Association for years:
The terms reparative therapy and sexual orientation conversion therapy refer to counseling and psychotherapy aimed at eliminating or suppressing homosexuality. The most important fact about these "therapies" is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, which defines the standards of the field, does not include homosexuality. All other major health professional organizations have supported the American Psychiatric Association in its declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973.
Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.
In my view, this move on President Obama's part, is absolutely vital.
Thank you for taking the time to sign on to this petition in support of banning the practice known as conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy generally refers to any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Often, this practice is used on minors, who lack the legal authority to make their own medical and mental health decisions. We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth.
When assessing the validity of conversion therapy, or other practices that seek to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation, it is as imperative to seek guidance from certified medical experts. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.
originally posted by: WilsonWilson
You cant prevent people from getting treatment if they want it!
make it illegal for minors to be forced by parents to have the treatments, but if an adult wants to, and makes the choice to seek this kind of treatment it should be open to them!