In the Nevada Assembly this year, a powerful bill is up for a vote which could ban the fraudulent practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” While Nevada could be the eighth state (plus Washington D.C) to ban this outdated and dangerous practice, Nevadans have the right to know where their U.S. Senator, Dean Heller, stands on this measure. Would Senator Heller support the idea of banning “conversion therapy” practices nationwide? Would he author or co-sponsor a similar bill in Washington, D.C.?
We could look at how he falls in line with the priorities of the Trump Administration. If this is the case, Senator Heller is 100 percent in line with all of President Trump’s wishes. He hasn’t weighed in on the Trump Administration’s choice to rescind rights for transgender students at schools nor responded to the possible executive order that would use “religious freedom” as a license to discriminate LGBTQ Nevadans.
Today could be his chance to shed light on the subject as Senator Dean Heller goes into his first public town hall in three months. And today could be his chance to distance himself from the Trump Administration and their history of erasing LGBTQ people from the fabric of our nation.
The horrific “conversation therapy” practice has been rebuked by every major mental health and medical organization in the United States. Senator Heller is in the position to lead on an issue that continues to put the lives of LGBTQ youth in jeopardy. He could send a powerful message to his assembly colleagues by supporting the rights of all Americans. Or, Senator Heller can continue to align himself with an administration that now has a history of erasing the LGBTQ community from our society.
Right now, these are the only seven states (plus Washington D.C.) in the nation that have implemented laws to prevent the horrific and discredited practice of conversion therapy:
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico
At a time when federal officials and elected officials around the county are staying silent on LGBTQ issues, GLAAD will continue to advocate for expanded visibility in media interviews and public discussions like today's town hall.