May 12, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Missouri Legislator Wants to Ban Conversion Therapy

A Democrat in the Missouri House of Representatives wants their state to outlaw conversion therapy of LGBTQ youth. Also known as “reparative therapy”, it is the pseudoscientific and often traumatizing practice of attempting to change the gender identity or sexual orientation of an individual. This will mark the first time such a bill has been debated in the state.

House Rep. Tracy McCreery introduced House Bill 2141, which would ban mental health professional from administering conversion therapy to minors. Any infraction would expose the health care provider to legal damages and the potential loss of their license.

In an interview with Into, McCreery, who served as public policy director for the local LGBTQ advocacy group PROMO prior to her work as a politician, described the stakes as “life or death.”

“It’s our responsibility to make sure we are protecting our children from things that could be harmful, and conversion therapy is harmful to youth,” she said. “There’s not one medical organization out there which considers this healthy or successful.”

The truth is, even including the word “therapy” mischaracterizes the practice. Professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and American Medical Association (AMA) condemn any attempt at altering gender identity or sexual orientation, labeling the practice both harmful and ineffective.

The APA released a position statement against reparative therapy in 2000, writing, “The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self hatred already experienced by the patient.”

“Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy,” the statement concluded.

Children who are rejected by their families for their sexuality—like those sent to conversion therapists—are at a significantly higher risk for depression and suicide. A 2009 study from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University found them 5.9 times likelier to report high levels of depression and 8.4 times likelier to attempt suicide.

As it stands now, conversion therapy is illegal in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Even as the bill winds its way through the legislative process, its sponsor is “under no illusion” about its odds. Missouri is a staunchly Republican state, with the GOP maintaining a supermajority in both houses of the General Assembly.

“Sometimes just by filing legislation, it can start really important conversations,” says McCreery. “What I’m looking forward to – as a middle-aged, straight ally in this movement – is having meaningful conversations with people I work with to educate them on this issue.”

Related Posts

Celebrate National Masturbation Month

May 9, 2021

May 9, 2021

May is National Masturbation Month with National Masturbation Day, also known as International Masturbation Day being celebrated on May 7th. ...

Patrick O’Connell, AIDS Activist, Dead At 67

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Patrick O’Connell, a venerable AIDS activist and creator of the iconic red ribbon creating awareness about the disease, has died...

Lesbian Visibility Week

May 2, 2021

May 2, 2021

This past week marked the 13th year of Lesbian Visibility Week celebrated between April 25th and May 2nd.  The origin...

Kellogg’s Launching LGBTQ Themed Cereal

April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021

Kellogg’s is launching a limited edition LGBT-themed cereal in celebration of Pride. The company teamed up with GLAAD to create...

Caitlyn Jenner Running For Governor Of California

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist, announced that she will be running for California Governor. 71-year-old Jenner made...

WeHo Standing Up Against Sexual Violence On ‘Denim Day’

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

The City of West Hollywood encourages everyone to wear jeans on Denim Day, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, which is an...

Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes” Controversy

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Since releasing his controversially queer-positive music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” gay singer/rapper Lil Nas X has had...

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

Trans Visibility Day Proclamation From President Biden

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of Trans Visibility Day and the first time a sitting president has ever made a...

Bisexual Men Have Higher Chance Of Developing Eating Disorders

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month and according to a study done by the University of California San Francisco bisexual...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced a new slate of...

New Harry Potter Video Game Will Feature Trans Witches & Wizards

March 14, 2021

March 14, 2021

The newest Harry Potter video game titled Hogwarts Legacy will allow players to create trans characters.  The game will allow...

Taimi, Largest LGBTQ+ Platform, Hits 10 Million Users

March 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

Since launching in 2018 Taimi, the world’s most inclusive LGBTQ+ platform that features a social network, dating app, and livestreaming,...

New Poll Shows 5.6% Of Adults Identify As LGBTQ

March 6, 2021

March 6, 2021

A new survey by Gallup shows that more adults are identifying as LGBTQ than ever before — an increase driven...