North Carolina’s governor is attempting to fight off gay conversion therapy.
Governor Roy Cooper and the state’s health department are being praised by advocacy groups after releasing an executive order to restrict conversion therapy in the state.
The order attempts to bar funds controlled by the executive branch from going towards programs and people performing the therapy on minors. This includes state and federal money for the state’s Medicaid program and NC Health Choice insurance for children in low- and middle-income families.
“Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice,” the governor’s office said in a tweet.
The order also states that North Carolina is home to approximately 320,000 adults who identify as LGBTQ. The order says that “being LGBTQ is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.”
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 2, 2019
In addition, the order shared stats on how conversion therapy, which includes techniques like electroshock treatments and institutionalization, has caused a significant amount of suicides in LGBTQ youth.
“…a recent survey by The Trevor Project found that 42% of LGBTQ youth who have undergone conversion therapy attempted suicide and 57% of transgender…youth who have undergone conversion therapy attempted suicide,” explained the order.
It seems North Carolina is currently ripe with support of LGBTQ rights. Cooper’s order comes less than two weeks after a federal judge approved a legal settlement that aligned with the right for transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity in most North Carolina public buildings (including government buildings).
Again, advocates and activists are thankful to Governor Cooper for releasing this executive order.
“No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity; we’re grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees,” Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, said in a statement. “We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections.”