Bill In Ohio Legislature Would Ban "Conversion Therapies"
Last January, a transgender Ohio girl took her own life after undergoing so-called "conversion therapy." The story of Leelah Alcorn drew attention to the dangers of the practice designed to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. President Obama called for a ban on the practice, and a report by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows conversion therapy can cause serious psychological harm to youth. The report shows the practice is based on the faulty premise that there is something wrong with being gay or lesbian. A bill pending in the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate would prohibit mental health professionals from using conversion therapy when treating minors. Grant Stancliff is with the gay rights group Equality Ohio.
While struggling with his own sexual orientation over a decade ago, Josh Holbertson of Westerville underwent something similar to conversion therapy. But he says he realized he could not continue denying a basic part of his identity.
In 2012, an American Psychological Association study showed people seldom switch sexual orientation even after years of conversion therapy.