Just earlier this month, we were very happy to report that there was Victory In Seattle. City Council Unanimously Bans Gay Conversion Therapy. Now it seems the heartland of our country is trying to see if they have a conscience, too.
Banning conversion therapy seems to be the next civil rights fight that is gaining ground after marriage equality success. With the conversion therapy ban fight being won in states and in cities across the country, we hope the avalanche continues. Will Iowa follow the most recent to ban, Seattle?
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa boards overseeing doctors and psychologists considered Friday whether to adopt a policy that would ban state-licensed professionals from counseling gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children to change their sexual orientation in a practice known as conversion therapy.
The Iowa Board of Psychology on Friday voted to deny a petition that would have prohibited Iowa licensed mental health providers from trying to reverse a patient’s sexual orientation, said board spokeswoman Sharon Dozier. She declined to discuss the reasons, saying the board will release its full decision later.
The petition submitted in February was signed by 695 people. It said a third of LGBTQ individuals report they were sent outside the home to a therapist or religious leader to “cure, treat or change their sexual orientation.”
An Iowa Board of Medicine committee declined to take action Friday on the ban. Committee Chairman Ronald Cheney said the group needs further study before making a recommendation to the full board.
The same board received a similar petition earlier this year in February, but after 2 months of deliberation, the board failed to move forward stating they needed more time and research.
As mentioned, other states and cities have ruled the practice of conversion therapy improper and illegal within their boundaries.
Seventeen states have considered laws that would prohibit conversion therapy. California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont and Washington D.C. have passed such laws [as well as Cincinnati, Miami Beach and Seattle].
A group of pastors is suing Illinois over its law, contending in a Thursday filing that the prohibition violates free speech and religious rights.
Illinois’ law applies to therapists and other licensed counselors, but the portion of the law that concerns pastors makes anyone liable for consumer fraud if they practice or advertise conversion therapy that portrays homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The Iowa Senate passed a bill earlier this year but it was not considered in the House.
So what more do these committees and boards need to hear? Are all these other cities and states wrong in creating their ban of conversion therapy? Did they jump the gun with their research and make an improper law? Maybe they should contact some of these states and borrow their research.
The committee also heard from members of a Christian organization that opposes the ban. They said such a policy steps beyond medical concerns and into religious and spiritual matters.
“Many people hold different views, and when we as a board or we as a state seek to step in and limit a very large section of the population that holds a certain view of sexual ethics, I think that’s dangerous and it’s wrong,” said Nathan Oppman, a spokesman for The Family Leader, a Des Moines based group that opposes gay marriage and other gay rights, abortion and the spread of gambling. – bigstory.ap.org
Why are these committees and boards dragging their feet? Are they waiting to see which party will win the election to see which way the nation will be moving for the next 4 years? Are they truly waiting to examine research on the topic? Why hasn't there been a national ban?
So Sharon Dozier, we will be waiting to hear why the petition for the ban was turned down.
h/t: DAVID PITT, Associated Press, bigstory.ap.org