No one should have to be told that who they are is something to be hidden or "fixed."
However, that's what the practice known as "conversion therapy" tries to do. Based on the bigoted idea that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, so-called "conversion therapy" attempts to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
It's hard to overestimate how incredibly harmful and dangerous these practices are for LGBTQ children and youth. Opposed by nearly all major medical, educational, and mental health organizations, "conversion therapy" can lead to depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal behavior.
I'm proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues in the Senate and the House to introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a bill that would call out "conversion therapy" for what it is -- a dangerous, abusive, and obviously fraudulent practice prosecutable by law.
It's critical that we stand up for the rights of our fellow LGBTQ citizens in the face of a hostile Trump administration. Many of Trump's cabinet secretaries and appointees actively sponsored discriminatory policies while serving in Congress, and Trump himself wasted no time in rolling back President Obama's executive orders preventing federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender and sexuality.
We must continue moving forward in the fight for equality and ensure that all Americans are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Seven states and nearly twenty cities -- including Seattle -- have already sought to protect LGBTQ youth and children by banning "conversion therapy." Now it's time for the nation to join them.
Thank you for standing with us,