Health Care

Kansas City suburb bans LGBTQ conversion therapy

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A Kansas City suburb voted on Monday to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors.

The city council for Prairie Village, Kan., voted 11-1 on Monday to adopt an ordinance banning the controversial practice, according to The Kansas City Star.

Under the Prairie Village ordinance, licensed medical or mental health providers such as counselors, psychologists and therapists, are not allowed to provide “conversion therapy or reparative therapy to a minor if the provider receives compensation in exchange for such services.” 

The ordinance does not prohibit or limit the ability of those who are either in support of or against the practice to speak about gender identity or sexual orientation to minors in forms that do not constitute conversion therapy.

Under the ordinance, providers that violate the ordinance could face a fine of no more than $1,000 but not jail time.

Conversion therapy seeks to use counseling to change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, but multiple medical associations have said there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of such therapies and that they may be harmful to children.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, for instance, says that such therapies “lack scientific credibility and clinical utility. Additionally, there is evidence that such interventions are harmful.”

Roughly half of U.S. states and the District of Columbia have either passed laws or have executive orders in place which either partially block or completely ban the practice. 

Prairie Village’s vote comes after another city in the area, Roeland Park, adopted a similar ordinance, the Star notes. The city of Lawrence, Kan., has also banned the practice.

Tags conversion therapy

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