Cincinnati Bans Conversion Therapy

Dec 9, 2015

Cincinnati City Council voted seven-two Wednesday to ban health professionals from trying to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. It's known as reparative or conversion therapy and is typically targeted toward LGBT teenagers.

Council Member Chris Seelbach, who sponsored the ordinance, says it's about saving the lives of LGBT young people. "This is real. Leelah Alcorn, almost a year ago, in our region, committed suicide citing this exact type of therapy that led her to take her own life."

Many speakers at the council meeting opposed the new ordinance including Eric Paine.  He says it ignores the needs of some teenagers.

"If a teenager can be celebrated for deciding they are not their biological gender and  encouraged to seek help to identify as the opposite gender," asks Paine, "then why should we not provide the same encouragement to minors who have unwanted same-sex attraction?"

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

The law will take effect in 30 days unless it's challenged in court.