Gov. Cooper signs ban on tax money being used for LGBTQ conversion therapy

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper

RALEIGH (WNCT) – On Friday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law Executive Order No. 97, which directs the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services to ensure no state tax money is used for conversion therapy for LGBTQ children in the state.

The order prohibits any medical or mental health provider receiving state or federal funds allocated to the North Carolina DHHS to use those funds for conversion therapy for patients under eighteen years of age.

In a statement on the bill, Gov. Cooper said,

“State taxpayer money shouldn’t be used for a practice on children that major medical associations agree is harmful and ineffective. Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice.”

Conversion therapy is as the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapy methods may include aversion therapy, talk therapy, shaming, or hypnosis.

Many U.S. medical and education groups oppose conversion therapy, because they say it is dangerous and ineffective.

According to the American Psychological Association, conversion therapy increases the risk of depression, rates of suicide, and rates of substance use disorders for LGBTQ youth. A recent survey by the Trevor Project found that 42% of LGBTQ youth who have undergone conversion therapy attempted suicide.

Eighteen states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have passed laws prohibiting licensed mental health and medical professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors.

More than fifty local jurisdictions across the United States have also banned the practice on minors.

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