The internet has come to the rescue of Sarah, a 17-year old Texas teenager who was forced to undergo gay conversion therapy in a remote Christian boarding facility, after her cousin, Jeremy Jordan, launched a GoFundMe campaign. Jordan, a popular Broadway star with a large social media following, wrote on the crowdfunding site: “Sarah and her girlfriend wanted to go to prom together. But when they did that, Sarah’s parents, who believe that homosexuality is a sin and abnormal, sent Sarah away against her will.” He added that she is not allowed any form of communication at the facility, and had already unsuccessfully tried to run away once. He set up the page to help his cousin with her legal battle, and quickly gained support from internet users all over the world, who shared the story with the #SaveSarah hashtag and already raised more than $32,000 to help Sarah with her legal battle. “Attorney’s fees in the first few weeks have already exceeded $20,000, and they are continuing to mount, with a full hearing set for July,” Jordan wrote. “If we free Sarah we can help show that it’s not okay to try to make gay teens straight by sending them away and using the threat of God against them.” The so-called “pray away the gay” therapy has been labeled a human rights violation by the UN, and a Human Rights Campaign report suggested that young people who go through it are about 8 times more likely to commit suicide. Nevertheless, the practice has so far only been banned in California, Oregon, Washington DC and Illinois, even though Senators Patty Murray and Cory Booker introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act last April, the first federal legislation to restrict its use on minors.
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