Attorney General Balderas: Protect New Mexico Kids by Banning Conversion Therapy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2017 

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Attorney General Balderas endorses SB 121

Santa Fe, NM- Ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee convening this afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced his support for SB 121, legislation that would ban the dangerous and extremely harmful practice of “conversion therapy” for minors in New Mexico. The so-called “therapy” involves the systematic shaming and humiliation of gender nonconforming children in order to instill self-hatred. This discredited practice is not based on medical science–it is based on prejudice. It has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and other major medical and professional organizations.

“Our New Mexican values are under attack by the practice of conversion ‘therapy,’ which attempts to reconfigure a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Attorney General Balderas. “As the chief law enforcement officer of the State of New Mexico, I am respectfully asking the women and men on the Senate Judiciary Committee to support SB 121 in order to protect New Mexico’s children and vulnerable populations from this dangerous and hateful practice.”

According to a study by San Francisco State University, compared with LGBTQ young people who were not rejected or were only a little rejected by their parents and caregivers because of their gay or transgender identity, highly rejected LGBTQ young people were:

  • More than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide;
  • Nearly 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression;
  • More than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs; and
  • More than 3 times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs.


Professional organizations that oppose conversion therapy:

  • American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychoanalytic Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American School Counselor Association
  • American School Health Association
  • National Association of Social Workers

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