Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), joined 23 Senate Democrats in reintroducing the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, legislation to classify “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent practice that would be illegal under the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority. This deeply harmful practice on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) children and youth has been widely discredited by nearly all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, counseling, educational, and social work professional organizations.

This bill would clarify that providing “conversion therapy” to any person in exchange for monetary compensation, or advertising such services, is an unfair and deceptive act or practice. Furthermore, this bill would explicitly clarify that the FTC has the responsibility to enforce this provision and would provide State Attorneys General authority to enforce this provision in federal court.

“This bill calls out so-called conversion therapy for what it truly is—a fraud. Conversation therapy is a discredited, degrading, and deceptive practice that has no place in our society. We stand with the LGBTQ community in redoubling efforts to end this harmful practice,” Blumenthal and Murphy said. 

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is nothing more than child abuse and those who inflict it on others must be held accountable,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “HRC thanks Senators Murray and Booker for their efforts to outlaw this dangerous and inhumane practice. Now more than ever, we must send a clear message to the LGBTQ community—and especially LGBTQ young people—that who you are is not something that needs to be fixed.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

Click HERE for a one-pager on the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act.