Obama to make push against conversion therapies
President Obama this week will call for the end of conversion therapies for gay, lesbian and transgender youth, the White House announced Wednesday evening.
 
The move comes after a WhiteHouse.gov petition called “Enact Leelah's Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy” received more than 120,000 signatures.
 
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The petition refers to Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender youth who committed suicide in December. Her suicide note said her parents “forced her to attend conversion therapy, pulled her out of school and isolated her in an attempt to change her gender identity,” according to the petition.
 
“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” the White House statement said. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”
 
California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapies, and 18 other states are considering similar prohibitions.
 
“While a national ban would require congressional action, we are hopeful that the clarity of the evidence combined with the actions taken by these states will lead to broader action that this Administration would support,” the White House statement said.
 
— Updated Thursday at 9:47 a.m.