A companion bill to the House’s Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act — an effort to ban LGBT “conversion therapy” was introduced in the Senate yesterday.
The senators from the Democratic Party Cory Booker and Patty Murray, of New Jersey and Washington State, respectively, are behind the Senate’s version of the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. If passed into law, the bill would consider all efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity an “unfair or deceptive act or practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Such efforts, sometimes called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy, have been denounced as ineffective and harmful by every major medical and mental health organization in the United States.
The negative effects of so-called conversion therapy attracted national attention 2 years ago, when the suicide note of 17-year-old Ohio trans girl, Leelah Alcorn, went viral, detailing the harm she suffered under the “Christian” therapist she was sent to by her parents to “cure” her of being transgender. A petition on the government’s We the People platform calling for a nationwide ban, to be called “Leelah’s Law,” garnered more than 100,000 signatures, prompting a response from the White House where the administration expressed its “concern” over the use of the discredited treatment. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a public statement condemning the practice.