RALEIGH, N.C. — New polling data affirms that an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians from every political affiliation support the prevention of licensed medical professionals from conducting so-called “conversion therapy” on LGBTQ minors and disabled adults.

A February 2019 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by Equality North Carolina and the Campaign for Southern Equality, found that a super majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support protecting North Carolina’s young people from conversion therapy.

Overall, 80 percent of polled respondents stated that they think “conversion therapy” to allegedly change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity should be illegal on children under 18. Of the remainder who initially disagreed or had no opinion, more than half changed their mind after better understanding what the practice of “conversion therapy” entails.

Conversion therapy has been rejected by every leading professional medical and mental health association in the country, who have declared it unnecessary, ineffective and dangerous to an individual’s health and well-being. The use of shame, electro-shock and intimidation tactics are known to contribute to suicide in the LGBTQ community.

This display of bipartisan support comes after legislators introduced the Mental Health Protection Act (HB516/SB426), which seeks protection for LGBTQ minors and disabled adults from “conversion therapy.” Introduced on March 28 in the North Carolina General Assembly, it is supported by a coalition of clergy, mental health organizations, faith groups, child welfare advocates and civil rights organizations.

“Republicans and Democrats agree, it is time to protect North Carolina’s children from so-called ‘conversion therapy’ practices,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson. “It’s rare that we find bipartisan support around an issue in North Carolina, but I think we can all agree that we want the safest and healthiest future for our children.”

The poll was conducted among 807 voters in North Carolina between Feb. 6-7 by Public Policy Polling.