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Obama Supports Ban on 'Conversion' Therapies for LGBT Youths

Screen shot of Leelah Alcorn from ABC News

Screen shot of Leelah Alcorn from ABC News

Remember when President Obama wasn’t making the strongest case for securing the civil rights of LGBT Americans and wouldn’t, for example, come out in favor of gay marriage? Looks like things are a bit different for our 2015-edition POTUS.

After the suicide in December of 17-year-old transgender youth Leelah Alcorn, who said in a suicide note posted online that she had been subjected to so-called conversion therapy, the Obama administration was apparently moved to take action (as per The New York Times):

In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.

The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.

“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” the statement, written by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, says. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

[…] Officials also announced the creation of an “all-gender restroom” in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where many of the White House staff members work, to provide an additional option for transgender individuals who are not comfortable using either the men’s or women’s restrooms.

However, the president stopped short of advocating that the ban be enforced through targeted legislation.

Here’s a link to that WhiteHouse.gov petition.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Kasia Anderson
Executive Editor
Dr. Kasia Anderson is Truthdig's executive editor. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1997 with a degree in English literature and sociology, she worked as a Web journalist in San Francisco until…
Kasia Anderson

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