Courage Campaign Leads Progressive Groups Urging Gov. Brown to Protect LGBT Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, 10 September 2012

CONTACT:
Doug Gordon : 202-494-5141 : doug@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Courage Campaign Leads Progressive Groups In Urging Governor Brown To Protect LGBT Youth

Groups Send Letter To Governor Demanding He Sign Senate Bill 1172 – Banning Psychological Abuse Of LGBT Youth

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - The Courage Campaign sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown today urging him to sign into law immediately Senate Bill 1172, a bill to ban psychological abuse inflicted on LGBT young people by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able change their sexual orientation or gender expression.

The Courage Campaign was joined on the letter by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), UNITE HERE Local11 and others.

“I watched the heart wrenching testimony of Ryan Kendall during the Prop. 8 Trial who was nearly driven to suicide from being forced to endure ‘conversion therapy.’ We urge Governor Brown to sign this bill so that California takes a strong stand for LGBT youth in our state and to stand up for science and research which overwhelmingly shows that this kind of archaic practice rooted in fear and bigotry can actually kill,” said Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of Courage Campaign. “We urge Governor Brown not to wait another day. Tens of thousands of LGBT youth cannot afford to wait.”

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:

September 10, 2012

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Governor of the State of California
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown,

We, the undersigned are writing today to strongly urge you to sign Senate Bill 1172, sponsored by Senator Ted Lieu.  The bill would ban psychological abuse inflicted on LGBT young people by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able change their sexual orientation or gender expression.   We believe the State of California should protect LGBT youth from these dangerous and discredited practices known to lead to depression and suicide.

Research has overwhelmingly shown that this kind of archaic practice rooted in fear and bigotry and has no benefit to the individual and in fact, these efforts have proven harmful to those who have been subjected.  In addition, it sends a devastating message to LGBT youth that they are not accepted by society, by their family and by their peers. There is a clear connection between this kind of alienation and lack of acceptance by this kind of behavior and bullying of LGBT youth and a high rate of suicide in the LGBT community.

Overwhelmingly, respected health professionals and associations across the country have debunked this kind of abusive practice as harmful, and so should the State of California.

Governor Brown, it is time to protect LGBT youth from this dangerous practice and send a message to all its youth that they are welcomed and respected citizens of California regardless of their sexual orientation.  Please sign SB 1172.

Respectfully,



Courage Campaign
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)
UNITE HERE Local 11
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF
Amy Schur, Executive Director ACCE *for identification purposes only
Anthony Thigpenn, President S.C.O.P.E and California Calls *for identification purposes only

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