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Independence council rejects ban on conversion therapy

Stock Independence City Hall 3
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 17:26:42-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence City Council rejected an ordinance that would have banned therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.

The council voted 4-3 Monday against the ordinance according to the meeting agenda.

The measure was requested by the city's Human Relations Commission.

Council member Karen DeLuccie said the ordinance was too broad and referred to any treatment, which could include counseling. She also suggested that some forced treatment methods used in conversion therapy are already illegal.

Others said the ordinance did not specify how the ban would be enforced.

The American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychology has found conversion therapy lacks scientific validity and can harm young LGBTQ people by contributing to depression.

Kansas City, St. Louis, St. Joseph and Columbia have passed similar bans.

City Attorney Mitch Langford said the proposed ordinance would have banned conversion therapy practiced by providers who receive compensation. He said that would avoid possible conflicts with charitable or religious considerations.