May 2 (UPI) — Rock group Imagine Dragons called for an end to the practice of conversion therapy at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.
While accepting the award for Top Rock Artist, frontman Dan Reynolds noted that 34 states which are home to nearly 60 percent of the nation’s LGBTQ population don’t have laws banning the practice intended to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual.
“This can change, but it’s going to take all of us talking to our state legislation, pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth,” Reynolds said.
Massachusetts became the most recent state to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors. Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law prohibiting state-licensed healthcare providers from participating in “sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts with a patient who is less than 18 years of age.”
Reynolds also cited increased rates of depression and suicide in LGBTQ youth who were exposed to conversion therapy.
“It’s not working, it needs to change,” he said.
Since 2017, Reynolds has run the LoveLoud Festival, which raises money for LGBTQ organizations focused on mental health and suicide prevention, including GLAAD, the Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign.