Governor Tom Wolf Bans LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy in Pennsylvania for Minors


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Parker DeStefano

Back in August of 2022, Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill barring the practice of “Gay Conversion Therapy” in Pennsylvania. This has been a long running problem for the LGBTQ+ community, dating back to 1899. Considering that this practice has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, it would be safe to assume that it would have died out by now and people would have realized how damaging it is toward LGBTQ+ individuals. This, however, is not the case. Abigayle, 28, a Photography student and President of the Open-Door Club said, “It should have never been a thing” and this can be quite true.

According to a study done by the Williams Institute in 2020, Seven percent of LGBTQ+ adults aged 18-59 in the US have gone through some kind of conversion therapy and 81 percent of those people have received it from religious leaders while 31 percent received it from healthcare providers. On top of that, according to The Trevor Project’s annual study, 45 percent of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.

The statistic provided by The Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ+ suicide prevention and intervention group, shows how LGBTQ+ conversion therapy can do real damage to these young people. It’s amazing to think that this practice has been allowed to go on for as long as it has. Carl Bargery, 20, a Bio major at Bucks said, “Gay conversion therapy represents everything unnatural about our society, this banning was long overdue.”

This banning also marks Pennsylvania as the 22nd state to implement policies against conversion therapy, joining 21 others as well as Washington DC. Hopefully, the rest of the country and outlying territories will join the movement in quick succession and bring this malpractice to an end.

There have been plenty of studies done on the topic of LGBTQ+ children especially those in the foster system. Many children have been put in to foster care by their family’s because they were part of the LGBTQ+ community. It should be said that instead of disowning these children for who they are, we should be accepting, supporting, and maybe, loving them even more. It is so hard to be an LGBTQ+ person today, not as much as it used to be, but the struggle isn’t over just yet. There is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to equality for LGBTQ+ people in the US. Governer Tom Wolf’s banning of conversion therapy in Pennsylvania for minors is definitely a good first step, and a step in the right direction.

It seems safe to say that this banning will do good things for this younger generation. Hopefully, they will be able to safely express themselves without fear of being ostracized and disgraced by their peers and loved ones.