FRC's Peter Sprigg Testifies Before MD State House in Opposition to Bill Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Therapy for Minors

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council, testified before the Maryland State House in opposition to House Bill 902, a bill prohibiting licensed counselors from providing minors with help to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction.

In Sprigg’s testimony he explained how the claims upholding this bill lack scientific evidence and how this bill oversteps individuals’ privacy, "Advocates of legislation like this make two central claims about so-called ‘conversion therapy’ (which is known more accurately as sexual orientation change efforts, or SOCE). First, they claim it is ineffective, and second, they claim that it is harmful… But what is the scientific evidence proving these claims?

“The answer is that there is none—particularly with respect to minors, the population addressed by this bill. The American Psychological Association’s 2009 task force report is the first source cited in the bill. Yet it actually came up empty in its search for an empirical foundation—beyond mere anecdotal evidence—for these two key arguments against SOCE.

“This bill infringes upon privacy, confidentiality, and client self-determination; and upon free speech and, in some cases, the free exercise of religion. Such infringements would require the weightiest of scientific evidence to support them—evidence that is completely absent.”

Click here to read Peter Sprigg’s full testimony.