Seattle may become the third US city to ban conversion therapy as early as next week.
An ordinance was passed unanimously by the City Council which would ban conversion therapy for minors inside the city.
At the moment, conversion therapy is banned in California, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, as well as the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lorena Gonzalez, a Seattle Councilmember who sponsored the ordinance, labelled conversion therapy as a “disservice” to LGBT youth.
She spoke to KIRO-TV, saying: “It’s absolutely offensive to me. Instead of providing these children, who are going through perhaps a moment of confusion […] instead of providing them the support that they need, there are people out there who believe it’s appropriate to convince these children that their same-sex orientation is somehow a disease, or an illness, or something that can be cured.”
The ordinance does have to be accepted by the full council before it actually becomes city law, with the final decision scheduled for August 1.
If they rule in favour of the ban, counselors who offer conversion therapy should be find $500 for a first offence, $1,000 for any following ones. However, the rule would only apply to licensed mental health and medical professionals.
This means that religious organisations and religious leaders would be exempt.
While the move for ban has seen both critics and assurances that it is not the torture it seems (yeah, right) many have spoken out in favour of it, including people who have experienced the therapy for themselves.
Trans activist Danni Askini said: “These harmful, and discredited and unscientific practices damage the mental health and well-being of young people to feel affirmed, safe and connected to medical mental health providers who they should be able to rely on.”
With the unanimous vote from the City Council, we can hopefully look forward to quick resolution and banning of the inhumane therapy.