The city of St. Louis has officially made its stance against conversion therapy.
This past Monday, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signed into law a ban on conversion therapy for minors. The city has thus become one of the few cities in Missouri to ban the practice. Some of those other countries include Columbia and Kansas City.
“Conversion therapy is outdated, dangerous and discredited,” wrote Krewson on Twitter after the signing. “As elected officials, we must protect our #LGBTQIA youth and stand up for them. Today, I’m proud to sign BB152, making @STLCityGov the third MO city to ban this practice.”
Conversion therapy is outdated, dangerous and discredited.
As elected officials, we must protect our #LGBTQIA youth and stand up for them.
Today, I’m proud to sign BB152, making @STLCityGov the third MO city to ban this practice.
— Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) December 23, 2019
All major health organizations have opposed gay conversion therapy. The American Psychological Association says that the practice does not work and can cause harm to patients. Unfortunately, religious leaders and practitioners have failed to listen to this scientific and medical advice. For instance, a statewide ban across Missouri failed to pass earlier this year. In addition, the state of Utah passed a conversion therapy bill but only after dealing with the Mormon Church’s opposition.
According to NBC affiliate KDSK, the St. Louis bill was introduced by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia. The law also points out the fact that professionals have found no evidence of conversion therapy being effective on sexual orientation.
“A national community of professionals in education, social work, health, mental health, and counseling, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), have determined that there is no scientifically valid evidence that supports the practice of conversion therapy,’ states Board Bill 152.
It then adds:
“Such professionals have also determined that conversion therapy is not only ineffective but is substantially dangerous to an individual’s mental and physical well-being and has also been shown to contribute to depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, family rejection and suicide.”
If found in violation of the law, St. Louis citizens could be facing a penalty of up to $500.