Imagine Dragons called to ban conversion therapy during their acceptance speech at the Billboards Music Awards.
The bank won the award for top rock group at the event, held in Las Vegas on Wednesday (May 1).
Imagine Dragons lead singer and longtime LGBT+ ally Dan Reynolds called out the more than 30 states in the US that have yet to ban conversion therapy in the acceptance speech.
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 2, 2019
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.
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“This can change but it’s going to take all of us talking to our state legislators, pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth.”
His remarks got a loud applause, but Reynolds was not yet done: “We’ve seen with conversion therapy that our LGBTQ youth have double the date of depression, triple the rate of suicide, after conversion therapy. It’s not working, it needs to change.”
Fans praise Imagine Dragons singer’s statement against conversion therapy
His statement in support for LGBT+ people received praise from viewers.
One person tweeted: “imagine dragons going on stage and not using this time to speak about themselves BUT petition for the ban of conversion camps and to support our LGBQT+ youth. THAT is how you SPARK A CONVERSATION.”
Another viewer commented on Twitter: “dan reynolds, lead singer of imagine dragons, just used his platform after winning an award to talk about the difficulties LGBTQ+ youth go through in the US and is campaigning against conversion therapy and for bettering the mental health of these youth :( i love him eternally”
“F**k yes to Imagine Dragons for using their ENTIRE speech to talk about how conversion therapy is still being used legally today & how that shit needs to stop to protect our LGBT youth. I’m thoroughly pressed with the
#Billboards so far,” another viewer reacted.
Reynolds, a lifelong Mormon, organises an annual LGBT+ music festival in Utah, LOVELOUD, that benefits local and national LGBT+ charities.
The line-up for 2019’s festival includes Kesha, Tegan & Sara, Pvris, and Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace.
Its website explains: “LOVELOUD was created in 2017 by Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons to help ignite the relevant and vital conversation of what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept and support LGBTQ+ youth in an effort to keep families together.