Sexual conversion therapy causes immeasurable damage to youth | Letter

“The Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is in strong support of SB 5722..”

We are writing in response to the article “State lawmakers hear a proposal to outlaw sexual conversion therapy” by Taylor McAvoy published on Jan. 17.

We were concerned to see a marriage and family therapist representing a position against Senate Bill 5722 restricting the practice of conversion therapy on individuals under the age of 18.

While we respect everyone’s right to their opinions as public citizens, we want to make sure that these are not seen as representing our field as a whole.

The Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT) is in strong support of Senate Bill 5722. Youth who undergo conversion therapy, either voluntarily or involuntary, are at an increased risk of experiencing mental health difficulties including, but not limited to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, unsafe sex practices, and suicide. The damage this procedure does to Washington youth is immeasurable.

On behalf of our 1,313 members, we strongly support this opportunity for Washington to continue its reputation of being a strong advocate for children, LGBTQ youth and families by prohibiting ineffective, harmful health care practices.

Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

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