WASHINGTON — A 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn, stunned her friends and a vast Internet audience in December when she threw herself in front of a tractor-trailer after writing in an online suicide note that religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.
In response, President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights.
In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.
Here’s what spurred people on to petition the White House.
UPDATE: And this….
The Obama administration said on Wednesday it had opened a gender-neutral bathroom within the White House complex, a symbolic step for the President in order to protect the rights of members of the LGBT community in the workplace.
The “all-gender restroom” is in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the West Wing, within the White House complex where many employees have meetings and offices.
The White House now allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, including in the West Wing.