You may remember the sad story of 17-year-old transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn, who killed herself because religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.
That story shook the nation about brought much needed attention to conversion therapy. It also was the inspiration for a White House petition that gathered over 100,000 signatures. This amazing act, prompt the White House to respond. White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett wrote her own response.
Here is a piece of her statement:
Thank you for taking the time to sign on to this petition in support of banning the practice known as conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy generally refers to any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Often, this practice is used on minors, who lack the legal authority to make their own medical and mental health decisions. We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth.
When assessing the validity of conversion therapy, or other practices that seek to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation, it is as imperative to seek guidance from certified medical experts. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.
As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.
Valerie also noted that President Obama was aware of Leelah's story and wants to do something about it. Hence, he has called to end all conversion therapy for LGBT youth.
Please click on the links above for more info. This is an amazing move from the president, hopefully, he will get this done.