Target: Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace of New Jersey
Goal: Ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors.
A newly proposed bill in New Jersey seeks to prohibit the use of conversion therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientation of minors. ‘Practioners’ of conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, claim that they can successfully make a gay person straight. Those who have received such therapy, however, have experienced many negative effects including low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety; the therapy has even resulted in attempts of suicide in some cases. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA), which recognized in 1974 that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, has decided to investigate the research literature of conversion therapy.
Minors are particularly vulnerable to these negative effects of conversion therapy; adolescents and pre-teens are already in a difficult developmental stage that involves self-discovery, peer pressure, and self-esteem issues. Young people who are gay, bisexual, transgender, or those who may be exploring their sexual identity need support and acceptance from their family and friends, not to be made to feel as if they are mentally ill. Unfortunately, some parents do not understand or accept what their child is experiencing and may attempt the use of conversion therapy.
People under the age of eighteen need to be protected from these harmful attempts at changing their sexual orientation. Sign the petition below to tell Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Timothy Eustace you support their proposed legislation to ban the dangerous conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors.
Dear Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Timothy Eustace,
Your proposed legislation to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors in New Jersey should be commended. It recognizes the fact that many LGBTQ youths not only have to deal with peer pressure and being ‘different,’ but that their sexual identities may make them outcasts even within their own families. It protects them against the typical results of conversion therapy, such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of confusion about self-identity.
In recent years we as a society have witnessed a tragic number of suicides amongst LGBTQ teens due to bullying about their sexual orientation. Fortunately there has been a collective response to help stop bullying in schools. What has been somewhat of less focus, however, are the teens’ home lives and their parental relationships. Many LGBTQ minors unfortunately experience bullying from their parents, which often takes the form of harmful conversion therapy. We want to thank you and show our support for legally addressing these dangerous attempts to ‘repair’ a young person’s sexual orientation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jersey Pride Inc.