Conversion therapy, also known as psychological abuse, is the outdated idea that an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed. Due to the scientific fact that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed, conversion therapy only results in an individual having higher rates of substance abuse, depression, and suicide risk. LGBTQ youth are most at risk for conversion therapy due to their parents being misled by faith leaders, mental health professionals, or stereotypes that still exist.
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.
- 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.