House Dem calls on FTC to investigate gay conversion therapy practices

House Dem calls on FTC to investigate gay conversion therapy practices

House Democrat Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierPoll: 69 percent of Americans say they are watching impeachment closely The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate Democrats rally behind Pelosi on delay of articles MORE (Calif.) is demanding the Federal Trade Commission investigate therapists who perform gay conversion therapy.

In a letter to commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Speier said she wants the FTC to investigate the claims and advertising practices of therapists who perform conversion therapy in order to identify those that are making dangerous and scientifically invalid claims. She also asked FTC to enforce any applicable laws against false claims and assess the practice as unfair and deceptive.

Efforts by mental health providers to change a person’s sexual orientation have been linked to critical health risks including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicide, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and a feeling of being dehumanized.

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Speier said being transgender, gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not a disease.

“Some patients are forced to put blocks of ice on their hands while they look at pictures of men holding hands, then provided relief from the pain only if they plead to see a picture of a man and woman holding hands,” she said. “Other survivors are delivered electric shocks or intense heat.

Last month, Speier introduced a resolution that called on states to ban the practice. President Obama has also pushed to end conversion therapies for LGBT youth.