Freedom from Violence, Health and Education, News, Policy Updates

WREN Supports Proposed Conversion Therapy Ban

by WREN Staff on May 13, 2021

In a recent vote, the Columbia City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban conversion therapy within city limits. The ordinance now moves on to a second reading scheduled for May 18, 2021.  Before the vote, we ask that you send the City Council members a message in support of the LGBTQ+ community and this ban- use our action link to email the city council.

What is conversion therapy?

According to the Trevor Project, conversion therapy is any practice that is “aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, that could mean attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation from lesbian, gay, or bisexual to straight or their gender identity from transgender or nonbinary to cisgender. And it could include efforts to change a person’s gender expression (to make a person act more stereotypically masculine or feminine, for example), or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender.”

These practices are dangerous and discredited by the medical community. Conversion therapy can be found in a traditional counseling space or cloaked in religious ministries or life coaching. Regardless of its title, WREN opposes the practice of conversion therapy based on our commitment to gender justice.  Conversion therapy techniques involve rejection, shame, and psychological abuse and can range from extreme electroshock treatments or institutionalization to “counseling” services based on pseudoscience. These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide.

Read the full text of the proposed ordinance:

Ordinance by Jazmine Ashley Greene


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