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In 2012, California became the first state to protect LGBT youth from dangerous and scientifically discredited efforts by state-licensed therapists to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This law (Senate Bill 1172) prohibits therapists who are licensed by the State of California from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of people under 18.

In 2013, New Jersey enacted a second law (Assembly Bill 3371).

Oregon, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Washington, D.

These groups have cautioned that the practices do not work and have warned patients that they may be harmful.

For example, the American Psychological Association “advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.” The American Psychiatric Association “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.” The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.” The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, has stated that these practices “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” No.

Laws passed in California, New Jersey, Washington, D.

C., Oregon, Illinois, and Vermont, as well as bills introduced in many other states, prohibit state-licensed mental health professionals from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a young person under 18 years of age.

In 2009, the APA issued a report concluding that the reported risks of the practices include: depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources. Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation or gender identity face especially serious health risks.

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