WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Obama responded to a “We the People” petition by announcing both his opposition to so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBT youth and his support of efforts to ban it. Following this important step in the government’s efforts to prevent the abuse of LGBT youth and protect their rights, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:
“The president’s call to ban so-called conversion therapy is a major victory not only for the safety and equal rights of LGBT youth, but for religious freedom in America. Too many purveyors of these dangerous and harmful treatments have used religious language to peddle their false services and prey on families of faith. The president’s announcement should be a reminder to religious communities and leaders across the country of the dangers of this kind of ‘therapy.’”
“By rejecting conversion therapy, we take an important step toward fully accepting and embracing the presence of the divine in all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. People of all faiths have a responsibility to reject abusive pseudo-psychology and abandon practices that invalidate the identities of our LGBT children. Time and again we have witnessed the tragedies that such disrespect and disregard can cause. President Obama’s words provide hope for those young people enduring this mistreatment while we continue the important work of abolishing this insidious practice.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.