Scroll To Top

North Carolina Governor Ends Funding of Conversion Therapy on Minors

Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper issued an executive order that takes aim at the harmful practice.


North Carolina's governor has moved to end state-sponsored conversion therapy of LGBTQ young people.

Roy Cooper issued an executive order Friday directing the state's Department of Health and Human Services to cease the use of federal and state funds for the harmful and discredited practice of trying to turn minors straight.

Executive order no. 97 declares that "being LGBTQ is an innate quality and is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency or shortcoming." As justification, the order cites the condemning of conversion therapy by major health organizations like the American Psychological Association and American Medical Association. It also references alarming statistics from The Trevor Project, a group that provides a lifeline for at-risk youth, that 42 percent of LGBTQ young people who have undergone conversion therapy have attempted suicide.

"Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice," Cooper stated on Twitter.

LGBTQ groups commended Cooper -- a Democrat who defeated the anti-LGBTQ Republican incumbent Pat McCrory in the 2016 election -- on the executive order against conversion therapy. They also urged North Carolina legislature to ban the practice altogether. At present, 18 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and at least 50 cities and counties in the U.S. have banned the use of conversion therapy on minors.

"While his executive order is a great first step in protecting North Carolinian youth, we must continue to push for comprehensive protections," said Sam Brinton, head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

Brinton says passing stronger statewide protections is the next step.

"[W]e call upon the North Carolina state legislature to take up legislation to stop licensed practitioners from violating the ethical guidelines of their profession, and harming the most vulnerable youth in the Tar Heel State," Brinton continued.

The state group that has been the on-the-ground leader on LGBTQ rights and worked closely with helping strip this funding, Equality NC, echoed these calls while celebrating their latest victory.

"We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections," said Kendra R. Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, said in a statement. "No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity; we're grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.