Obama Wants to End Reparative Therapy

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.14.50 AMPresident Obama, who is one of the most bi-friendly presidents in U.S. history (the photos here notwithstanding), has said Wednesday night that he believes that the government should ban harmful reparative therapy.

The petition (CLICK HERE) came from a populist movement of people who gathered enough signatures to have the White House answer their concerns. Not only did the White House respond, but Obama said he would be open to hear any kind of legislation from conservatives or liberals about how to ban therapy that forces people of the BLGT persuasion to be strictly heterosexual.

Of course, this had a terrible catalyst, of the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, who was a transgender teenager who threw herself in front of a trailer-tractor last year after her parents forced her to go to a therapist. The therapy, according to her  suicide note, was pushing her to identify as a boy, as she was born.

According to the senior adviser of the president, Valerie Jarrett, the answer says:

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

This psychiatric practice which is sometimes called “reparative” therapy is now something that the American Psychological Association finds as potentially harmful now. The American Medical Association, World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics have all also said the practices should be ended.

More than 120,000 signatures on the question prompted the White House to respond.

Mike Szymanski
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Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]