An executive order signed Friday by
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper bans North Carolina from funding
therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender
identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
North Carolina is now the first
Southern state to issue such a ban.
“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,” Cooper said in a tweet
after he had signed the order.
LGBT activists cheered the move.
“The executive action, signed by
Governor Cooper, restricting the use of public funds to support the
dangerous, debunked practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is
an important step forward in North Carolina, and we are grateful to
the Protect Our Youth NC Coalition – led by Equality North Carolina
and the Campaign for Southern Equality – for pursuing this
important campaign to protect LGBTQ youth,” said JoDee Winterhof,
senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate.
“No child should be told that they
must change their sexual orientation or gender identity; we're
grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees,” Equality North Carolina
Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson said in a statement. “We are
committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for
poll released in February shows a large majority (80%) of North
Carolinians support laws that prohibit such therapies on minors.
Surprisingly, fewer Democrats (75%) are in favor than Republicans