Arizona families caught in middle of debate over ‘conversion therapy’ ban; Rose Law Group Family Attorney Audra Petrolle approves of the ban

 Thurston is candid about going from seemingly having it all — a husband and four beautiful children, to nearly losing it all when she realized she was gay.
/Source: Elena Thurston

By Nicole Crites | 3TV/CBS 5

The American Medical Association is calling for a nationwide ban on “conversion therapy,” and in a landmark move later this month, Utah will become the 19th state to ban the practice for minors.

Not only did Utah’s Republican governor go around the Legislature to pass this, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also endorsing the ban.

The American Medical Association says it supports a federal ban on so-called conversion therapy in line with a new law in Utah.

Here in Arizona, “conversion therapy,” which is the discredited practice of trying to “convert” LGBTQ people to heterosexuality or traditional gender expectations, is only banned for minors in Pima County, down in Tucson.

Now, a Valley mom’s recent TEDx talk about her struggle with suicide after going through “conversion therapy” is reviving the debate to do more statewide. “I think so many Americans don’t even know that ‘conversion therapy’ is still alive and well,” Elena Thurston said. The mother of four is gay and Mormon. “I was the consummate suburban housewife, literally living the ‘white picket fence’ life, complete with minivan and baking homemade bread every week.”

Thurston is candid about going from seemingly having it all — a husband and four beautiful children, to nearly losing it all when she realized she was gay.

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“In my opinion, sexuality exists on a spectrum and cannot necessarily be defined based on gender or anatomy alone. I would anticipate that forcing a child to conform to or, in this case, convert to a sexual identity based on his or her anatomical identity is like pushing a square peg into a round hole. The likely result is discord and trauma, not harmony. A ban on “conversion therapy” appears to be tailored toward reducing the trauma suffered by these involuntary converts.

~ Audra Petrolle

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