Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy”, is a practice intended to “cure” the recipient of their same-sex sexual orientations and transgender identities. Techniques of conversion therapy range from shaming and hypnosis to electric shock and induced vomiting.
There is broad consensus in the medical community that sexual orientation and gender identity are immutable traits and that attempts to change these characteristics through conversion therapy or other means are not only unnecessary and ineffective but also very harmful. Conversion therapy only results in an individual having higher risk rates of substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Sadly, LGBTQ youth are most at-risk for conversion therapy.
Iowa lags behind the rest of the country in protecting LGBTQ youth from this dangerous practice. Iowa Safe Schools is leading the effort to ban this prehistoric practice by encouraging the Iowa Legislature to adopt legislation that would do the following:
- Declare conversion therapy being done to anyone under the age of 18 to be child abuse, requiring mandatory reporting of conversion therapy cases.
- Maintain that any licensed professional in the state of Iowa (mental health professionals, doctors, teachers, social workers, day cares) cannot recommend or conduct conversion therapy or will lose their professional license.
- Ensure that all licensing boards in the state of Iowa have a system in place for reporting incidents of conversion therapy.
Read Executive Director, Nate Monson’s OpEd on Banning Conversion Therapy
Iowa Safe Schools cannot do this alone. We need your help and the only way we can do this is to show Iowa lawmakers that this is an important issue.