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Georgia Assembly files legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from gay conversion therapy

The new bill called the Youth Mental Health Protection Act will protect LGBTQ youth

2019-03-08

The Georgia Assembly has filed a landmark legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from gay conversion therapy.

This week representatives Matthew Wilson, Mary Margaret Oliver, Shelly Hutchinson, Debbie Buckner, Pat Gardner and Karla Drenner sponsored the new bill, Youth Mental Health Protection Act, protecting youth from the so-called, discredited gay conversion therapy.

Wilson, who represents the Brookhaven constituency, said: “All children in Georgia should receive care that first, does no harm. 

“Conversion therapy has no scientific basis and contradicts the medical community’s understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I am proud to sponsor this bill that helps ensure the safety of Georgia’s LGBTQ youth by outlawing this incredibly dangerous practice.”

With its submission, Georgia has joined 23 other states with active legislation working to stop the so-called therapy.

Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, said: “There is no question. Georgia must protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of conversion therapy.

“As The Trevor Project continues to hear from young Georgians in crisis, we know this legislation will save lives, and we're committed to seeing it start a critical conversation in the Peach State.”

Roland Behm, Board member, Georgia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, continued: “The Georgia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is part of Converse, a coalition advocating for passage of HB 580, including Georgia’s medical and mental health professionals, children's advocacy groups, LGBTQ organizations, and mental health and suicide prevention advocacy groups.

"The State of Georgia has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of all its children and HB 580 is a critical part of that protection.”