Pennsylvania Governor Signs Executive Order to Protect LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians from Conversion Therapy

Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order that provides some protections from conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat,” said Gov. Wolf. “This discriminatory practice is widely rejected by medical and scientific professionals and has been proven to lead to worse mental health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ youth subjected to it. This is about keeping our children safe from bullying and extreme practices that harm them.”

This is an interesting quote because the Governor equates conversation therapy (and ministry?) to bullying. Since we have this idea that parents own their children’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, this is an important step forward to deconstruct the harmful notion that religious beliefs overrides the rights of the individual just because they are a minor.

We are fools for thinking marriage equality is the banner issue with faith communities. People have options to get married in many spaces. Children or vulnerable adults tormented by conversion ministries or Christian counseling face truly dire consequences.

So-called conversion therapy does tremendous harm to children during a period of time when family acceptance is the most vital tool for their survival.

The practice, also known as reparative or sexual orientation change efforts, has been discredited by every major professional association that deals with mental health. The assumption that someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed is not based on medical or scientific evidence, according to the American Medical Association. And, as Wolf noted, the practice can lead to serious harm.

The Governor’s Executive Order does not make conversation therapy illegal in Pennsylvania – that would require action by the General Assembly. The Governor’s Order leans into all sort of administrative action to hold insurers and providers accountable for supporting this barbaric practice.

You can read more details here.


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