Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Legislation that Calls on State to End Conversion Therapy Unanimously Approved by City Council
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms introduced a Resolution to establish the City of Atlanta’s opposition to the practice of conversion therapy. The Resolution—passed unanimously by City Council—also calls on the State of Georgia, the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists, the Georgia Board of Nursing, the Georgia Composite Medical Board, and the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists set in place regulations to prohibit the practice and advertising of conversion therapy.
“The passage of this Resolution sends a clear message that the City of Atlanta will always stand for equality and human dignity—regardless of who you are or who you love,” said Mayor Bottoms. “State-sanctioned practices that inflict persecution and suffering on LGBTQ individuals—particularly young people—should end immediately. Simply put—we cannot and should not endanger the well-being of the LGBTQ community for living their truth. This administration and the City respectfully calls on our State partners to join us on the right side of history."
Long-rejected by leading medical and mental professionals and organizations—including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association—conversion therapy is premised on a false notion that simply being LGBTQ is a mental illness. Research has shown that LGBTQ youth whose parents attempted to change their sexual orientation were twice as likely to attempt suicide, and those whose parents and external parties attempted to change their sexual orientation were three times as likely to attempt suicide.
The fraudulent practice of conversion or “reparative” therapy has also proved to carry increased risk of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and homelessness among LGBTQ individuals.