Last night, the New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 121, which would protect youth from the discredited and dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” The bill now moves to the senate floor.
“Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” encompasses a range of practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected for decades by every major medical and mental health organization.
California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, New York and Washington, D.C. currently have laws or regulations protecting LGBTQ minors from “conversion therapy.”
There is no credible evidence that “conversion therapy” can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people. Use of these dangerous practices lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior and is condemned by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
Senator Jacob R. Candelaria introduced the bill.
HRC thanks Sen. Candelaria and Equality New Mexico on their leadership and dedication to ending this harmful practice.
NCLR and HRC have partnered with state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation to end conversion therapy.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.