Belfast Telegraph

Imagine Dragons use Billboard Music Awards to condemn conversion therapy

Lead singer Dan Reynolds condemned the practice.

Rock band Imagine Dragons called for a ban on conversion therapy as they highlighted LGBTQ issues at the Billboard Music Awards (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Rock band Imagine Dragons called for a ban on conversion therapy as they highlighted LGBTQ issues at the Billboard Music Awards (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Rock band Imagine Dragons called for a ban on conversion therapy as they highlighted LGBTQ issues at the Billboard Music Awards.

The US act were named top rock group at the ceremony in Las Vegas and frontman Dan Reynolds took the opportunity to condemn the use of the practice.

Conversion therapy, a pseudo-scientific practice used to change an individual’s sexual orientation, is outlawed on under-18s in 16 states, but legal in the 34 others.

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Dan Reynolds, second right, and Daniel Platzman, from left, Ben McKee, and Wayne Sermon, of Imagine Dragon (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Reynolds called for a total ban.

Stood beside bandmates Daniel Platzman, Ben McKee and Wayne Sermon, he said: “I just want to take this moment to say that there are 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy. 34.

“And on top of that 58% of our LGBTQ population live in those states. 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 then said people undergoing conversion therapy were much more likely to experience depression or attempt to take their own lives.

“It’s not working, it needs to change”, he said.

According to the website LGBTMap.com, states where the therapy is legal on under-18s include Texas, Florida and Arizona.

It is outlawed in states such as California, Nevada and New York.

This is not the first time Reynolds, who married wife Aja Volkman in 2011, has spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community.

He previously appeared in a documentary titled Believer, which explores how the Mormon Church treats its gay members.

PA

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