The Anchorage Assembly on Wednesday
approved an ordinance that prohibits therapies that attempt to alter
the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Members approved the ban 9-2 after
holding two days of public comment. Assemblywomen Jamie Allard and
Crystal Kennedy, both of whom are members of the Republican Party,
voted against the ban.
The ban only applies to licensed
professionals. Clergy acting in a religious capacity and parents are
excluded. Violators face a $500 per day fine.
According to the Anchorage
Daily News, about 65 people testified during the public
hearing, a majority of whom opposed the ordinance.
The ordinance was introduced by Austin
Quinn-Davidson, Chris Constant, and Felix Rivera, all of whom are
“One day, this practice will be
banned throughout the United States,” Rivera said. “And then one
day, we are going to look back and we're going to wonder why this was
ever a debate, and why this practice was ever allowed.”
Quinn-Davidson said that the ban will
Constant said that the chamber had
heard from people “who have been harmed by the practice. Not 20
years ago or 30 years ago, but in the last five years.”
Similar bans have been approved in 20
states plus the District of Columbia and at least 70 cities in the