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Conversion Therapy Remains Legal Across Most Of Region

The Trevor Project Facebook page

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth remains legal across most of the country, and much of our region. But right now, Colorado is considering a statewide ban on the practice.

It includes various kinds of treatments intended to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Both the American Psychological Association and Psychiatric Association reject the therapy and studies show it's ineffective and increases the risk of depression, anxiety and suicide attempts.

Casey Pick is with the Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

"We know that conversion therapy does continue to be practiced across the country," she said. "Red state, blue state—it does not matter."

Pick said statewide legislation is important to stopping the practice, but it also sends an important message to LGBTQ youth.

"There is nothing wrong with them," said Pick. "There is no need and no benefit to conversion therapy."

Denver is one of the only places in the region with a conversion therapy ban.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.

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