The field of personal injury law has for some time included psychological and emotional injury, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and severe anxiety or depression. An increasing number of lawsuits, including consumer fraud suits, are being filed around the nation by LGBTQ adults who were exposed to conversion or “reparative” therapies as minors. Conversion therapy is defined as the practice of suppressing or eliminating homosexual desires with the goal of enabling an individual with these inclinations to live a heterosexual lifestyle.
Many of these adults report that the effort to change sexual orientation or same-sex attraction led them to severe depression and in some cases, suicidal thoughts. Colorado joined the battle with the introduction of a bill earlier in the year that would make conversion therapies illegal in the state. Although the bill passed in the House, it was postponed “indefinitely” by the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs.
The proposed bill would ban for minors the practice of conversion therapy, which purports to rid the individual of “unwanted homosexuality” by professional, including physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed social workers. The theories in support of conversion therapy have long since been clinically disproven, and the practice has been banned in New Jersey, Vermont, California, Illinois, Oregon and the District of Columbia so far. California was the first state to ban conversion therapy. In New Jersey, a highly publicized trial followed lawsuits by four adult men who had been subjected to conversion therapy as children, all of whom testified in court that the treatments had caused them severe clinical depression that lasted many years.