City council members in Kansas City, Missouri, just made a major move to protect vulnerable LGBTQ youth.
On Thursday, city council members voted to pass an ordinance banning licensed mental health care providers from practicing gay conversion therapy on queer young people, The Kansas City Star reports. The new ordinance means Kansas City is the second city in Missouri to take a stand against the debunked practice, which has long been linked to high incidences of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attempted suicide among survivors.
The new rule was unanimously approved by Kansas City’s city council members, and comes a month after city leaders in Columbia, Missouri, also passed a similar ordinance. Notably, it does not bar religious advisors from talking to LGBTQ youth about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Kansas City has seen some incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in the not-too-distant past—including the fatal shootings of Brooklyn Lindsey and Briana “BB” Hill, both black transgender women, this June and October, respectively. The city of some 491,000 residents was also the backdrop for Season 3 of Netflix’s Queer Eye, and saw lesbian politician Jolie Justus run for mayor this year.
Nationwide, the fight against conversion therapy wages on. In the U.S., the practice is currently illegal for licensed medical providers to perform on minors in 18 states and the District of Columbia, plus a myriad of cities and small municipalities. Lawmakers nationwide have recognized the practice as harmful and fraudulent, since it simply doesn’t work.
— PROMO Missouri (@PROMOMissouri) November 13, 2019
As NewNowNext reported in September, former “ex-gay” conversion therapy leader McKrae Game—who founded Hope for Wholeness, one of the nation’s leading conversion therapy groups, in 1999—has since apologized for his actions, and denounced the practice as dishonest.
“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” Game told the South Carolina-based Post and Courier earlier this year. “Because it’s false advertising.”