Terrorizing LGBTQ kids through "conversion therapy" has already been banned by three states and the District of Columbia. (The practice of attempting to "cure" LGBTQ people of who they are has been debunked. It's harmful. It's creepy as hell.) But today, the Seattle City Council's human rights committee unanimously voted to ban the practice here.
A piece of legislation sponsored by City Council Member Lorena Gonzàlez would outlaw conversion therapy for minors in the city. If licensed mental health providers practiced it anyway, the new ordinance could fine them up to $1,000. Advertising conversion therapy would also be considered a misdemeanor.
The legislation obviously has the support of the mayor, who pointed out that conversion therapy "endangers the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ individuals and leads to increased rates of depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide." Earlier this year, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also attempted to bring the issue to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, asking that the regulatory agency ban conversion therapy under federal consumer protection laws.
Perhaps Monisha Harrell, chair of Equal Rights Washington, said it best: "Conversion Therapy is a practice that needed to end yesterday."
The full council will vote on the ordinance next Monday at 2:30 p.m.