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Conversion Therapy High Court Decision

By Charlotte Robinson, December 12, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Washington's state law protecting LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy by declining review of Tingley v. Ferguson a Ninth Circuit decision affirming the validity of Washington state’s law prohibiting licensed mental health professionals from subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy that attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Mathew Shurka, Co-Founder of NCLR’s Born Perfect Program stated, “Today’s decision is a huge relief for LGBTQ minors in Washington & throughout the country. These laws play a critical role in protecting LGBTQ minors & their families from this dangerous practice, which drives LGBTQ youth to self-hatred & despair & which tragically isolates LGBTQ youth from their families. As a survivor of this damaging practice, I know firsthand how damaging these practices can be.” Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director concluded, “The Ninth Circuit correctly held that Washington’s law is a regulation of mental health treatment, not speech. When state-licensed therapists are providing treatment to patients, states can & do require them to provide safe, competent & ethical care. Every major medical & mental health association in the country has warned that conversion therapy is unnecessary, ineffective & harmful. In one study, more than 60 percent of youth subjected to conversion therapy attempted suicide. That is why nearly half the states in this country have enacted laws to protect youth & their families from these serious harms.” Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) to end conversion therapy. 

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