Cincinnati Ohio city council voted 7-2 Wednesday banning gender and sexual-orientation conversion therapy for minors.
Twenty-three people spoke at the city council meeting. Twenty-one pastors urged the council to keep the status quo complaining that living transgender children infringe on their religious liberty.
John Boggess, Equality Ohio board member was the lone person to speak in favor of banning conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy is the discredited process in which a person is made to feel shameful of their sexual orientation and or gender expression. Transgender teen Leelah Alcorn took her life writing about the pain caused by conversion therapy in her suicide note. Leelah’s parents tried unsuccessfully to scrub her memory from the internet. Conversely, this resulted in an increased awareness of the harmful effects of forced gender conversion by religiously motivated therapists.
In the end, according to cincinnati.com, the council voted 7-2 to pass the law, which prohibits therapy designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity for minors, and imposes a $200-a-day fine on violators. Cincinnati follows four states – California, Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey – and the District of Columbia banning the therapy, becoming the first city outside of D.C. to do so.
According to cincinnati.com three Ohio therapists conduct this discredited, harmful process, none of whom spoke at the Cincinnati council meeting.
If you have been subjected to conversion therapy in the past eight years and are an Ohio resident you can file a complaint with the licensing board.
A law to ban conversion therapy was introduced this November by Ohio state legislators. At least 16 other states have introduced similar legislation this year (AZ, CO, CT, FL, IL, IA, MA, MN, NV, NY, PA, RI, TX, VT, VA, WA)