What is conversion therapy? Explaining the practice Biden wants to end

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday authorizing new programs supporting the LGBT + community, which has been contended with a spate of anti-LGBT laws in several states in recent months.

The order includes measures addressing LGBT + mental health, such as an initiative aimed at ending conversion therapy targeting LGBT + youth.

The order stops short of issuing a ban on conversion therapy, but directs several federal agencies to take actions like spreading awareness of its harm.

Here’s what you should know about conversion therapy.

So-called conversion therapy has been banned in one of the traditionally more conservative states.

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What is conversion therapy?

Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is the practice of trying to alter somebody’s same-sex orientation through counseling, according to the American Psychological Association. The practice has long been discredited by major mental health organizations, including the APA, as it is based on the false premise that same-sex attraction is a mental disorder.

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