“It is time to safeguard the most vulnerable among us by ending the abusive practice of subjecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth to damaging attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender expression,” writes HRC President Chad Griffin in the letter. “Research has shown that far from being beneficial or even neutral, these efforts have harmful effects on the participants.”

Griffin details the consequences of continued denomination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, citing HRC’s landmark study of LGBT youth released in June. The top concerns for LGBT youth revolved around a lack of acceptance by family, classmates, and society more generally. In contrast, straight youth worried about classes, grades, college acceptance, and financial pressures. This stress is unsurprising considering that 89 percent of California youth reported hearing negative messages about being LGBT – 63 percent of those youth say those messages come from elected leaders.

The majority of national organizations with expertise in mental health either opposes or warns about the negative effects of efforts to change sexual orientation, including: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organisation.

“Your support for SB 1172 would send a strong message to LGBT youth everywhere that their lives are valuable and they are perfect just the way they are,” concludes Griffin in his letter.

The letter is available here:

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