This week read about activists marching for transgender lives in New York, and North Dakota's lawmakers banning conversion therapy in social work.
Brooklyn Activists March for Trans Lives
Thousands of protesters, dressed in white, gathered just after noon in front of the Brooklyn Museum for the second Brooklyn Liberation March.
In a statement on the event’s webpage, event organizers called the march “an emergency action in response to the more than 100 pieces of legislation that have been filed in over 34 states” and emphasized the link between legislation passed against trans youth in states like Arkansas and Tennessee and epidemic-level violence against transgender people in 2021.
Twenty-two-year-old Shéár Avory, who is non-binary and transgender, spoke at the march and told the New York Times, “We are here to say that we have a right not just to survive, but to thrive. To demand that our movements show up and center us.”
By organizer’s estimates, this year’s crowd drew in just over 2,000 people in person, compared with last year’s over 15,000 attendees.
Even though the turnout was smaller, Avory told the New York Times, “In the midst of this chaos, in the midst of these anti-trans bills across the country, there is a legacy of resilience, a legacy of hope, a legacy that young people really came together to birth.”
North Dakota Bans Conversion Therapy in Social Work
The Capitol of North Dakota. Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikipedia.
Lawmakers in the state’s Administrative Rules Committee voted 8-7 to approve a measure that bans state-licensed social workers from practicing conversion therapy, without having to push any legislation through the House and Senate.
The rule applies to all mental health professionals that hold a social work license, but does not affect private clergy or church officials who engage in the practice.
Sen. Nicole Poolman told the Grand Forks Herald, “This is within the scope of this organization, and it only applies to this organization. It has been proven how damaging that type of conversion therapy has been, and they just want to ensure that their members understand that it’s unethical.”
Despite the limitations on whom the rule applies to, the Trevor Project Senior Advocacy Campaign Manager Troy Stevenson still applauded the decision in a June 9 statement.
Stevenson said, “This rule change will stop the vast majority of mental health providers in North Dakota from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. This practice is not therapy at all — it’s abusive and fraudulent.”