April 25, 2017

Following Widespread Anti-LGBTQ Push Under President Trump, Sens. Murray, Booker Renew Efforts to End Dangerous, Fraudulent “Conversion Therapy”

Following Widespread Anti-LGBTQ Push Under President Trump, Sens. Murray, Booker Renew Efforts to End Dangerous, Fraudulent "Conversion Therapy"

Senators reintroduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act to empower the FTC to crack down on so-called "conversion therapy"

"Conversion therapy" advocates "heartened" by Trump Presidency 

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and 20 other Senate Democrats in reintroducing the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, legislation to classify "conversion therapy" as a fraudulent practice that would be illegal under the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) authority. This deeply harmful practice on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) children and youth has been widely discredited by nearly all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, counseling, educational, and social work professional organizations.

This bill would clarify that providing "conversion therapy" to any person in exchange for monetary compensation, or advertising such services, is an unfair and deceptive act or practice. Furthermore, this bill would explicitly clarify that the FTC has the responsibility to enforce this provision and would provide State Attorneys General authority to enforce this provision in federal court.

"On this and so many other issues impacting the LGBTQ community, the Trump Administration has laid out a hateful, damaging agenda to undo hard-won progress, divide our communities, hurt our friends, neighbors, and family members just because of who they are or who they love," said Senator Murray. "This is absolutely the wrong direction for our country-and I will continue to push for ways to make sure all people, regardless of who they are or who they love, are treated equally and with respect."

"We need to ban ‘conversion therapy' plain and simple. So-called ‘conversion therapy' isn't therapy at all-it's a tortuous, fraudulent practice that has been repeatedly condemned by medical professionals and has no place in our country," said Senator Booker. "By empowering the FTC to protect consumers from this kind of fraud, this bill will take an important step in ending this harmful practice for good."

"So-called ‘conversion therapy' is nothing more than child abuse and those who inflict it on others must be held accountable," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "HRC thanks Senators Murray and Booker for their efforts to outlaw this dangerous and inhumane practice. Now more than ever, we must send a clear message to the LGBTQ community-and especially LGBTQ young people-that who you are is not something that needs to be fixed."

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

To read a one-pager on the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, click here.