This campaign is going to take a local twist. We want to submit this petition to the mayor and/or city or borough manager of as many localities across Pennsylvania as we can. We are stepping up our game, and want your help to step with us. Literally, even! We will be holding ban conversion therapy rallies in every Pennsylvania county within the next three years unless the legislature bans the practice outright. We will be coming to a town near you soon enough. Stay tuned for dates and locations. -- David.
To: Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Senate, Pennsylvania House
Ban "conversion therapy" in Pennsylvania
Pass a law (PA bills are H.B. 1177 and S.B. 44) that prohibits the use of conversion therapy for minors in Pennsylvania.
Why is this important?
Conversion therapy has been debunked as junk science by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. There's no scientific evidence that it works. But, more important, there's a host of evidence that it hurts those who suffer through it, leading to depression and even suicide in some cases.
As a gay man and as the founder and president of the Pennsylvania Equality Project, formerly called Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, I've met a number of gays and lesbians who have experienced the pain of so-called conversion therapy, and I've seen the results firsthand.
Already, both New Jersey and California have banned this dangerous and predatory form of therapy. There's no reason Pennsylvania children and teens should continue to suffer by undergoing "conversion" therapy. The fact that this practice is still legal in our state suggests to potential clients and their caretakers that it is an acceptable form of treatment, rather than a threat to their well-being.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania state legislators have already taken steps in the right direction. Representative Babette Josephs introduced legislation to ban conversion therapy in 2012. This year, state representatives Brian Sims and Gerald Mullery announced that they plan to introduce a similar bill that would ban the use of this dangerous treatment on youth in Pennsylvania.
With national momentum on our side, now is the perfect time to let our legislators know that we want them to support Reps. Sims' and Mullery's bill to ban conversion therapy for minors in Pennsylvania. If enough people like you join me and take action, we can show the broad spectrum of support for the bill and make it clear to our legislators that we want them to put the well-being of children before personal bias.
Too many children have been permanently scarred by conversion therapy. Sign my petition and help end conversion therapy of children in Pennsylvania.
How it will be delivered
We plan to deliver this petition in person to Representative Brian Sims and Senator Daylin Leach to give to their colleagues in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate. We will also deliver a copy to Governor Wolf's representative in Erie, PA.