Yesterday, Dr. David Kaplan, Chief Professional Officer of the American Counseling Association (ACA), stood with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) to introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (TFPA), which, if signed into law, would mandate the first federal ban on conversion therapy.
The TFPA includes language that prohibits mental health professionals from performing “conversion therapy,” a therapy that seeks to change an individual’s sexual or gender identity.
As the nation’s largest association representing professional counselors, ACA has a duty to voice support for proposed legislation that protects the mental health of Americans. By passing legislation prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy, we can prevent individuals from being subjected to a painful and damaging experience.
The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act will prohibit advertising claims that conversion therapy can successfully change a person’s sexual orientation and classify for-profit conversion therapy as fraud under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
People who undergo conversion therapy are often ostracized from their families, depressed, anxious and potentially suicidal. Following definitive evidence that conversion therapy is both harmful and ineffective from the American Psychological Association in a report titled “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation,” it is clear that this legislation could not only support the LGBT community, but save lives. The American Counseling Association has adopted an unequivocal policy against conversion therapy.
The American Counseling Association stands ready to support Congressman Ted Lieu as he continues to advocate for the safety and wellbeing of our nation’s LGBT population through the TFPA. To support this bill, you can help raise awareness by participating in the social media campaign #LoveDoesntNeedACure. Issue a statement of support and let your representatives know you support this bill.
Read Dr. David Kaplan’s full remarks here.