HB 503: Protecting Youth from Conversion “Therapy”
This bill will protect Ohio’s youth from the harmful practice of conversion therapy. The goal of the practice – which is nearly universally shunned in the medical community – is to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and is particularly harmful to youth. It has often led to suicide.
Conversion “therapy” is bogus. No study has demonstrated that the practice has a healing therapeutic purpose. Instead, studies have shown that it causes real harm to minors.
Nearly every relevant medical professional association in the country agrees: this practice is harmful to those who undergo it–especially youth, it can make existing mental health problems worse, and it isn’t even shown to be successful in its destructive aims. There is no credible use for so-called conversion “therapy”, and the consequences it has for LGBTQ youth are astronomical. It must end.
What Can You Do?
We must stop this bill in its tracks before it gets any momentum. To do that, we need you to:
- Call Health Committee Chair, Rep. Scott Lipps, and tell him to move HB503 through the legislative process and hold hearings. You can do that at the link below.
- Send an email to the Committee, asking them to support the bill here.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining just how harmful this bill is and why your elected officials should oppose it.
What We Are Working For Next
- Get support from major medical associations, like the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The American Counseling Association, and the American Medical Association. Done!
- Hearings for proponent testimony. If proponent testimony is scheduled, then the committee will hear from people who oppose so-called “conversion therapy”, like those who have experienced it and and medical professionals who know the dangers of it being performed on children. If you have a personal story that you would be willing to share or can speak to this issue professionally, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hearings for opposition testimony. If opposition testimony is given, people who support so-called “conversion therapy” will have designated time to argue against the bill. This is a normal part of the legislative process.
- For the bill to be voted out of committee. If the bill is voted out of committee, then it can be considered for a floor vote by the entire Ohio House.
- If it is voted out of the Ohio House, then the process repeats in the Ohio Senate.