Executive Order No. 97 can be read HERE
For a fact sheet on Executive Order No. 97 click HERE
: Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 97 to help protect LGBTQ children in North Carolina from the harmful practice of conversion therapy. The Order directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to take the appropriate steps to make sure that no taxpayer dollars are used for conversion therapy for minors. It prohibits any medical or mental health provider receiving state or federal funds allocated to the North Carolina DHHS to use those funds for conversion therapy for patients under eighteen years of age.
"State taxpayer money shouldn't be used for a practice on children that major medical associations agree is harmful and ineffective,"
said Governor Cooper. "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. I'm proud to sign this order and I will continue working to build an inclusive North Carolina that is welcoming and safe."
Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapy methods may include aversion therapy, talk therapy, shaming, or hypnosis. This practice for minors is strongly and uniformly rejected as both ineffective and dangerous by medical health and professional education organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and National Education Association. For a list of professional organizations opposed to the practice, click HERE
The American Psychological Association has concluded that conversion therapy poses critical health risks
which includes increased risk of depression, rates of suicide
, and substance use disorder for LGBTQ youth. A recent survey
by the Trevor Project found that 42% of LGBTQ youth who have undergone conversion therapy attempted suicide.
Under the Order, North Carolina DHHS must take appropriate steps to prohibit payment for conversion therapy by any health care provider receiving state or federal funds, such as North Carolina Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice. The Order affirms that state and federal funds for medical and mental health care should provide evidence-based medical or mental health services.
Eighteen states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have passed laws
prohibiting licensed mental health and medical professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors. More than fifty local jurisdictions across the United States have also banned the practice on minors.
Support for Governor Cooper's Executive Order on Conversion Therapy
"The North Carolina Psychiatric Association (NCPA) supports the American Psychiatric Association position of encouraging policies that "would prohibit the practice of 'reparative' or conversion therapies..." and we support the Governor's Executive Order to protect LGBTQ minors. The claims that those with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are mentally ill are unfounded. The APA and NCPA affirm that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation, and recommend ethical practitioners respect the identities for those with diverse gender expressions."
- NC Psychiatric Association
"The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) rejects conversion therapy as a legitimate medical treatment. Research has revealed that conversion therapy can cause significant psychological distress, and actually violates health care professionals' foremost ethical principle of 'first, do no harm.' Governor Cooper's executive order banning the use of state funds for this false treatment will protect North Carolina citizens as more than a dozen other states have done."
- NC Medical Society
"Governor Cooper's order will create a safer North Carolina for LGBTQ youth. Young LGBTQ people who endure 'conversion therapy' are at an immensely higher risk for depression and suicide than those whose identities are affirmed, a primary reason that we must do all we can to end this dangerous pseudoscience. As we continue our campaign to end conversion therapy once and for all, we're looking forward to working across North Carolina to share a message of love and affirmation. Momentum is on our side, and now it's time to amplify the voices of North Carolinians everywhere who are taking action to protect our youth."
- Allison Scott, Director of Policy & Programs at the Campaign for Southern Equality
"This year our campaign ignited a conversation among North Carolinians about the importance of protecting our kids from 'conversion therapy.' It's gratifying to see Governor Cooper take this critical step in the right direction. No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity; we're grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees. We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections."
- Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality NC
"According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "conversion" or "reparative therapy" is never indicated for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth; therapy is not effective and may be harmful to LGBTQ individuals by increasing internalized stigma, distress, and depression." The Governor's Executive Order is consistent with AAP policy and clinical literature."
- Susan Mims, MD, MPH, FAAP, President of NC Pediatric Society
"Today we take a step forward to prevent the significant mental health damage being done to children by a practice that is not evidenced-based. We commend Governor Cooper's efforts to move North Carolina closer to a full ban on a practice that is illegal in 18 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and is against the core values of the social work profession. Social workers recognize the long-term detrimental consequences of conversion therapy, which includes increased risk of depression, suicidal ideation, substance misuse and self-loathing, and it is our professional duty to advocate against this harmful practice."
- Valerie Arendt, Executive Director of the NC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
"A research summary found that conversion therapy for minors is scientifically unsupported. The North Carolina Psychological Association supports Governor Cooper's Executive Order which directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to take appropriate steps to prohibit payment for conversion therapy for minors by any provider receiving state or federal funds allocated to DHHS."
- Dr. Elliot Silverstein, President of NC Psychological Association
"The American Academy of Family Physicians enacted policy as early as 2007 opposing the use of reparative or conversion therapy, and we agree with our national organization on scientific grounds. AAFP recommends that parents, guardians, young people, and their families seek support and services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority persons of all ages."
- Dr. Alisa Nance, President of the NC Academy of Family Physicians
"NAMI North Carolina is committed to improving and supporting mental health services and programs that inspire successful mental health recovery for youth and adolescents. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-17 in North Carolina. Given the correlation between conversion therapy and suicide among adolescents and youth, we cannot nor do we support conversion therapy in any form."
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Contact: Ford Porter