Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order directing commonwealth agencies to discourage LGBTQIA+ conversion therapy on August 16, 2022.
According to a Youth Mental Health Survey by the Trevor Project, 45% of LGBTQIA+ youth have seriously contemplated suicide in the past year, 73% of LGBTQIA+ youth have reported symptoms of anxiety, and 58% have reported symptoms of depression. Additionally, 36% of LGBTQIA+ youth have been physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. A peer-reviewed study by the Trevor Project revealed that 13% of LGBTQIA+ youth have been subjected to conversion therapy and were more than twice as likely to report attempting suicide in the past year. They estimate that conversion therapy costs the US $9.23 billion annually through negative mental health outcomes and substance use.
“The Trevor Project’s Youth Mental Health Survey showed that rates of negative mental health outcomes among LGBTQIA+ youth are much lower in communities, schools, and families that are accepting and supportive of LGBTQIA+ people,” said Gov. Wolf. “That’s why I signed this executive order to protect Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy and the damage it does to our communities. Because all of our youth deserve to grow up in a commonwealth that accepts and respects them.”
What does Executive Order 2022-2 do?
- It directs Pennsylvania agencies to discourage conversion therapy.
- It directs Pennsylvania agencies to actively promote evidence-based best practices for LGBTQIA+ individuals supported by the scientific and medical communities.
- It directs agencies to update policies and procedures to assist the LGBTQIA+ community better.
- It directs the Department of Human Services, the Insurance Department, the Department of State, and other appropriate agencies to explore and implement all options to prevent state funds, programs, contracts, and other resources from being used to provide, authorize, endorse, reimburse for, or refer Pennsylvanians for conversion therapy to the extent permitted by law.