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Campaign seeks to Ban “Conversion Therapy” in Grand Rapids

April 4, 2022

According to a report by the Williams Institute:

Conversion therapy, also known as sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts, is a practice grounded in the belief that being LGBT is abnormal. It is intended to change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of LGBT people.1 Conversion therapy is practiced by some licensed professionals in the context of providing health care and by some clergy or other spiritual advisors in the context of religious practice.2 Efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity are associated with poor mental health,3 including suicidality. As of June 2019, 18 states, the District of Columbia, and a number of localities have banned health care professionals from using conversion therapy on youth. 

That same report, published in 2019, also states, “698,000 LGBT adults (ages 18-59)5 in the U.S. have received conversion therapy, including about 350,000 LGBT adults who were subjected to the practice as adolescents.”

According to the Grand Rapids LGBTQ+Healthcare Consortium, Twenty states have banned this discredited and harmful practice, Michigan is not one of them. There are 7 municipalities that have banned conversion therapy in Michigan, Grand Rapids needs to be the 8th

The Campaign in Grand Rapids began just recently, and they are asking people to sign a petition demanding that the City of Grand Rapids not allow this kind of hateful and harmful practice to continue in this community. 

You can sign the petition at this link https://banconversiontherapymi.com/.

Much of this practice of “conversation therapy” comes out of the Christian Community, with the belief that anyone identifying as LGBTQ+ has been mislead and therefore needs to go through a process of converting themselves back to “hetero-normativity.” We are unaware of specific licensed health care providers that might be engaging in the practice of “conversion therapy,” but there was a story last November on Fox 17 about a Christian Pastor in Muskegon who advocates for the harmful practice.

On the Grand Rapids LGBTQ+Healthcare Consortium petition page, you can see a list of organizations and individuals which endorse the campaign. This list needs to grow exponentially, so talk to organizations you are part of and get them to endorse the campaign. You can also share the petition through social media to encourage others to sign and to share.

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