Rep Suzan DelBene Helps Reintroduce Bill to Ban 'Conversion Therapy'

WASHINGTON, D.C.  - April 25, 2017 – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today helped reintroduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which would ban the harmful practice of so-called "conversion therapy."

"There is no scientific basis or evidence for these so-called 'conversion therapies,'" DelBene said. "Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender don't need a 'cure,' they need equality. This legislation is an important step toward protecting the LGBT community and their families from the fraudulent promises of conversion."

DelBene joined Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), the lead bill sponsor, in introducing the legislation. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act would classify for-profit conversion therapy as fraudulent under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill also prohibits advertisements claiming a conversion practitioner can change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

There is overwhelming consensus among medical, education, social work and mental health professionals that conversion therapy doesn't work and instead increases the likelihood of depression, self-harm and suicide - particularly in minors.

DelBene has heard firsthand about the harms of the practice from Daniel Cords, a Seattle resident who was placed in conversion therapy after he came out at age 14.

"When I came out of the closet at 14, my parents rejected it. But the 'it' unfortunately, was me. Nothing could save me – not the rock in my shoe, which poked me every minute of every day so that I knew not to think gay thoughts. Not the cross in my pocket, which I was told to grab when I had gay thoughts," Cords said. "So confused and scared, I slumped into a terrible depression because I could not change. Conversion therapy was hell for me and I can only beg you to stop it in its tracks."

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