DULUTH, Minn. — On Monday night, Duluth became the second city in the state to prohibit minors from undergoing “conversion therapy,” the widely discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation.
By an 8-0 vote, the Duluth City Council approved an ordinance banning the use of conversion therapy on anyone under 18 years of age, following in the footsteps of Minneapolis. Superior, Wis., has also banned the practice.
“To our young people, to our residents and to visitors who identify as GLBTQAI and two-spirit, and for people whose children identify as such, we are here for you. We are an open and affirming community that believes that you are valuable, that you have been wonderfully made just as you are,” Mayor Emily Larson said of the council’s vote.
Larson also pledged to add passing a statewide ban on subjecting young people to conversion therapy to the city’s list of legislative priorities in the coming year.
Conversion therapy has been discredited by major medical groups, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association.
The ordinance passed by the council Monday applies to medical professionals, therapists and counselors. However, it does not bind clergy members.
Opponents of similar bans argue such prohibitions violate freedom of religion or speech.
- Forum News Service