The United States government released a report indicating that “conversion therapy,” a controversial method to turn gay youth straight, is harmful and dangerous to young people.

The government and White House officials support the abolition of conversion therapy. The report, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides scientific backing to oppose conversion therapy.  

“Conversion therapies or other efforts to change sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are not effective, reinforce harmful gender stereotypes and are not appropriate mental health treatments,” said SAMHSA Special Expert on LGBT Affairs, Elliot Kennedy.

The American Psychological Association (APA) noted that conversion therapy puts LGBT youth at increased risk of depression, anxiety, suicide, and lead to substance abuse.

“We believe that conversion therapy for young people is not in their best interest, and the facts and the evidence supports that,” White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said. “We would support, and have supported, making it illegal for young people.”

For more on this story, visit Reuters “‘Conversion therapy’ endangers LGBT youth and must stop: U.S. report”

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced