Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cincinnati Could Ban Forced Gender Identity Change Efforts For Teenagers

Cincinnati could soon ban health professionals from trying to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.  It is known as reparative or conversion therapy and is typically targeted toward lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) teenagers.  

“The Council finds that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming; and that research has demonstrated sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons,” the proposed city ordinance says.

It also states no mental health professional “shall engage, within the geographic boundaries of the City of Cincinnati, in sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts with a minor, without regard to whether the mental health professional is compensated or receives any form of remuneration for his or her services.”

The city's ban on the therapy would carry a civil fine of $200.  

Resident Rachel Traxel had experience with it in California.

“I worked all the time with youth that were really harmed by this therapy,” Traxel said.  “And I will not call it reparative therapy because there’s nothing to be repaired.  These kids are not broken, they don’t need this therapy.”

The Budget and Finance Committee approved the issue Monday by a 7-2 vote.  Council Member Chris Seelbach introduced the issue.

“I’m asking you today to make the lives of gay and lesbian young people mean something,” Seelbach said.  “This is something we can do.  This is not symbolic, this is not something you can explain by politics or being a Republican or Democrat, this is do you support LGBT young people or not?  It’s as simple as that.”

Numerous organizations say such effort pose critical health risks to LGBT people.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.