WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- A new campaign is seeking to draw attention to controversial LGBT "conversion" or "reparative" therapy and criminalize the practice nationwide by 2019.
Launched by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, #BornPerfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy will work with lobbyists, lawmakers and attorneys around the country to halt and formally criminalize what the NCLR calls "dangerous practices."
"Few practices hurt LGBT youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide," said the NCLR in a statement. "NCLR has been working to protect LGBT kids from these practices for more than 20 years, securing legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012 and in New Jersey in 2013."
Today, we are working with legislators and LGBT leaders in more than a dozen other states and helping bring similar protections to the rest of the country. We believe that every LGBT child is born perfect and that any young person's identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender should be honored, celebrated, and supported.
"Reparative" therapy includes verbal counseling, discussion of Christian biblical interpretation and aversion treatments, among other anti-gay exercises.
During aversion treatments, patients view images of homosexual behavior accompanied by application of heat or cold, and in some cases, pain.
"To this day, I still have light pain when I shake hands with another male," Sam Brinton told Time Magazine. Brinton is a survivor of "reparative" therapy, forced to undergo the practice after his father was unable to physically abuse him into pretending to be straight.
"It was pretty much mental torture."
The NCLR is hoping that Brinton and young Americans in similar scenarios will soon never have to undergo that "torture" again.
We are committed to ending these dangerous and stigmatizing practices across the country once and for all -- relegating them to the dustbin of history, and ensuring every child knows they were #BornPerfect.