Obama to call for end of gay conversion therapy

Danielle Ferguson

President Obama this week will call for an end to gay conversion therapy, according to White House officials.

The White House on Wednesday provided an official response to the petition to “Enact Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy,” which tells the story of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, who wrote a suicide note, posted it to Tumblr and then walked in front of a semi-truck ending her life.

In her letter, Alcorn shared how her parents had forced her to attend conversion therapy, or the use of psychiatric therapies to “repair” or “convert” people who identify as gay, lesbian and transgender, and pulled her out of school to try to change her gender identity. As of Wednesday evening, the petition had almost 121,000 signatures, which were gained over a three month period, according to The New York Times.

Iowa could be one of the first states to ban gay conversion therapy on youth, depending on how the Republican-controlled House votes. The Senate voted 26-24 on March 17, with all Democrats voting to approve the bill and all Republicans voting against.

Obama will release a statement sometime Wednesday night, according to The New York Times.