🚨 Tell WV lawmakers to 🚨
VOTE NO on SB 71!
West Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would overturn two local bans on conversion therapy adopted by Charleston and Morgantown. Conversion therapy has been discredited by the medical community for years, and it is a form of child abuse.
🚨 TAKE ACTION NOW: We need all LGBTQ people and our allies across West Virginia to ACT NOW if we want to defeat this bill. Use the form at the bottom of this page to email WV lawmakers in less than 1 minute. Click here to jump to the form.
Although it may seem like this provision will only hurt LGBTQ people, it will also hurt the entire business community of West Virginia. This bill, once enacted, will significantly add to the unfortunate stereotype that our state is an unwelcoming, close-minded place that doesn’t welcome everyone. SB 71 will make it harder for West Virginia to stay competitive with neighboring states, and will make it harder for businesses to recruit talented employees who want to live in inclusive communities. A recent peer-review study published by the American Medical Association calculates that conversion therapy costs the United States more than $9 billion every year.
Essentially, this bill will leave local communities powerless to protect the children in their communities from conversion therapy. If you’re not familiar with conversion therapy, there’s a good reason. It is an outdated practice where licensed medical professionals attempt to force someone to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Every major medical association in the country — and every medical association in West Virginia — agree that minors should not be subjected to conversion therapy. Children who are forced into this dangerous practice are more likely to experience depression, self-harm, and even suicide. People who are subjected to this so-called therapy are 92 percent more likely to have thoughts of suicide.
All of West Virginia’s children deserve love and respect for who they are, and no one should be in the business of trying to shame or humiliate teenagers out of being gay. Until our lawmakers ban conversion therapy statewide, we have to rely on individual communities to ban this practice.
Ultimately, this bill is about taking away local control. Every community is different, and they need the ability to develop their own policies to reflect the unique needs and values of the people living there. City councils and local governments know the values of their community and what is best for the people who live there. These leaders are people we see every day at the grocery store, at school events, walking their dogs in our community — and they can best respond to the changing needs of the local area.
Want more information? Read our fact sheet about SB 71 here.
Use the tool below to quickly email the WV lawmakers that represent you and a key list of legislators who have the power to help defeat this bill.