LGBT conversion therapy should be banned for minors and vulnerable adults in more than the handful of states that currently restrict it, says a new report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released Thursday.
, which cites several scientific studies backed by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that therapies that claim to cure homosexuality or transgenderism have been found to harm participants.
"We recognize that the significant health disparities faced by LGBT youth – in particular, issues related to suicide, depression, substance abuse and homelessness, among many others – often relate to experiences of family rejection due to their sexual orientation, their gender identity or their gender expression," said Elliot Kennedy, special expert on LGBT affairs at SAMHSA.
Attempting to convert the feelings of homosexual or transgender individuals has been found in a great many cases to increase the health risks of participants, and such conversions are frequently conducted by people trained in religion who do not have medical training, the study concluded.
Instead of conversion therapy, the report found that, "Supportive families, peers and school and community environments are associated with improved psychosocial outcomes for sexual minority youth."
In April, President Barack Obama called for a ban on conversion therapies following the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender Ohio teen who had undergone a conversion program, Reuters reported
After many studies concluded that conversion therapies were harmful, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and the District of Columbia all passed legislation to ban the therapy for minors and some vulnerable adults, and now 21 other states have introduced legislation that aims to do the same.
Alan Chambers, the president of conversion therapy organization Exodus International, in 2013 shut down the business and offered an apology to past participants.
"For quite some time, we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical," he said at the time.
This year, New Jersey–based Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), another group offering conversion therapy was found guilty of fraud in a lawsuit brought by gay Orthodox Jewish men.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.