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Dan Reynolds spoke out against conversion therapy at the Billboard Music Awards.
The front man of Imagine Dragons, which won in the category of Top Rock Artist, used the platform at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Wednesday to slam the harmful and discredited practice of trying to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBTQ young people.
"There are 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy. And on top of that, 58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states," Reynolds said. "This can change, but it's going to take all of us talking to our state legislators, pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth."
"We have seen with conversion therapy that our LGBTQ youth have double the rate of depression; triple the rate of suicide after conversion therapy," he added. "It's not working and needs to change."
\u201c.@Imaginedragons take home this year's #BBMAs Top Rock Artist! \ud83e\udd18\u201d— Billboard Music Awards (@Billboard Music Awards) 1556756844
The 31-year-old is an ardent ally of the LGBTQ community. He founded the LoveLoud musical festival in 2017 in order to raise awareness of the suicide epidemic among LGBTQ young people in Utah and speak out against the antigay policies of the Mormon Church, in which he was raised. His crusade was captured in the HBO documentary Believer.
"I don't have anger. This is love," a tearful Reynolds, wrapped in a rainbow flag, told the crowd at the festival last year in Salt Lake City. "It's a desire to not lose our youth. We cannot lose any more."
Reynolds wears a rainbow ring, given to him by a mother whose son took his life, as his "reminder every day" of what is at stake.