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Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2022-2 to protect Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy.

HARRISBURG, PA August 16, 2022 − State Sen. Katie Muth (D-Chester/Montgomery/Berks) today stood alongside other legislators and advocates as Governor Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2022-2 which directs state agencies to discourage conversion therapy in the Commonwealth.

“The Executive Order signed today is an important first step, and I want to thank Rep. Brian Sims for leading on this issue for many years, and for introducing me to the changemakers at the Trevor Project.  Because of their advocacy, the public awareness around this pseudoscience-based and harmful practice is growing and those perpetuating it are being called out. “Conversion therapy” is really “conversion abuse” and should be illegal because it is a form of mental, emotional, and even physical abuse to a person’s health and well-being,” Muth, co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, said. “It is time for the Majority Party in Harrisburg to use their power to pass legislation that makes this form of abuse illegal in our Commonwealth. This is not political, this is about protecting children and ending hate and bigotry in Pennsylvania.”

According to a peer-reviewed study from The Trevor Project, 13% of LGBTQIA+ youth nationwide reported being subjected to conversion therapy, and 83% of those subjected to it were under age 18. The study showed that LGBTQIA+ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide in the past year.

The Executive Order signed by the Governor today directs Commonwealth agencies to take steps to actively promote evidence-based best practices for LGBTQIA+ individuals that is actually supported by the scientific and medical communities. It directs agencies to make updates to policies and procedures to better support LGBTQIA+ employees and the Pennsylvanians they serve. It also directs the Department of Human Services, the Insurance Department and Department of State and other appropriate agencies to explore and implement all options to ensure state funds, programs, contracts, and other resources are not used for the purposes of providing, authorizing, endorsing, reimbursing for, or referring for conversion therapy, to the extent permitted by law.

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