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Chelsea Clinton Condemns GOP Embrace of Conversion Therapy: It’s ‘Child Abuse’

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton condemned the GOP’s stance on conversion therapy at this week’s Democratic National Convention. In a Wednesday address, Clinton referred to the practice as “child abuse.”

“I’ve thought about what I found most offensive last week,” the former First Daughter said. “It’s hard, admittedly, to pick just one part of the Republican rhetoric which was divisive, degrading, [or] demeaning. ... It was the most regressive, least inclusive platform in modern political history.”

“But I think what I actually found most offensive really again ties to me as a mom,” she continued, using the moment to highlight Hillary Clinton’s support of the LGBT community,  “The open embrace of conversion therapy in the Republican Party platform—in other words, child abuse—to me is the clarion call for all of us to do everything we can to elect my mom, and elect Democrats up and down the ticket.”

What Clinton was referring to was the GOP platform voted in last week at the Republican National Convention. Although the party rhetoric never mentions conversion therapy by name, it’s been viewed by many as a tacit, dog-whistle endorsement of the practice, which seeks to “change” the sexual orientation of an LGBT youth.

“We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children,” the platform reads.

That amendment to the party’s official stance on conversion therapy was backed by Tony Perkins. Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council, a right-wing organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and has advocated such measures in the past as a way for people to “escape the homosexual lifestyle.”

He has additionally compared conversion therapy to “saving someone from a burning building,” as Right Wing Watch reports.

Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, also condemned the GOP platform during a speech at the Democratic National Convention. In the Wednesday address, he pointed to Donald Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, who advocated for conversion therapy during his 2000 run for Congress.

“Mike Pence [is] America’s most anti-LGBT governor,” Newsom said. “Pence has supported overt discrimination.”

“That’s not ‘praying away the gay,’” he added. “It’s emotional torture against our most innocent citizens, our children. Telling them that to live, they must lie. About who they are, and who they love. That’s fundamentally un-American. The age-old choice has never been more clear: We can live our fears or live our dreams.”

Conversion therapy has been universally condemned by every leading medical organization, including the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Watch Clinton deliver her remarks below.

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