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Ban 'conversion' therapy, protect LGBTQ

The director and stars of "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" stop by the L.A. Times Studio at Chase Sapphire on Main to talk about the message of their film about kids sent to a gay conversion therapy center. 

FULL COVERAGE: Sundance Film Festival 2018 »

Imagine being an LGBTQ teenager who is told by a so-called professional counselor that something is wrong with you and you need to be fixed. Accredited medical and mental health organizations have rejected the premise and the effectiveness of “conversion therapy” which has been linked with shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide.

The Maryland General Assembly is currently hearing arguments for the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, a bill which would ban conversion therapy for minors (“Gay athletes use their platform at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games,” Feb. 17). Medical communities have already issued statements against conversion therapy, lending support for such legislation. I write in support of this bill as a member and leader of a Christian faith community.

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As a pastor, each time I baptize a child, I declare that this little one is a beloved child of God, created in God’s image, claimed by God’s unending grace, and celebrated with joy. LGBTQ youth do not need to be cured but embraced and affirmed by families and communities. Families and youth seeking therapy should be able to trust that providers will guide them in exploring identity and developing supportive relationships. I urge people of faith to support this legislation for the protection of God’s beloved LGBTQ children.

Rev. Emily Berkowitz, Olney

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The writer is pastor of Ashton United Methodist Church.

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