Cleveland on Tuesday became the latest
Ohio city to ban therapies that attempt to alter the sexual
orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Cleveland City Council unanimously
advanced an ordinance that prohibits such therapies.
Mayor Justin Bibb, a Democrat, is
expected to sign the measure.
Alana Jochum, executive director for
LGBTQ rights group Equality Ohio, called such therapies “harmful”
“Practices of so-called conversion
'therapy' are not only immoral and ineffective, they are extremely
harmful,” Jochum said in a statement. “Our precious youth deserve
to feel seen, accepted and loved – and that's exactly what
Cleveland has done by passing this ordinance.”
Cleveland has joined other large metro
areas in the state in banning conversion therapy, including
Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo.
In applauding Cleveland's move, the
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ rights
advocate, noted that such therapies have “been rejected by every
mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades. Yet,
the practice has continued, leading to extremely dangerous mental
health consequences for those who have experienced it.”