On Monday, Seattle forbid gay conversion therapy for young people. The city council made this landmark decision to ban the so-called „conversion therapy” which some health counselors use in trying to turn gay youth straight.
The Seattle City Council gave a unanimous vote to ban these practices. Those who won’t abide the new law could be fined up to a thousand dollars. Advertising conversion therapy for youth is also against the law from now on.
So far, the District of Columbia and five other states have moved to forbid mental health counselors from trying to use this practice.
Until now, efforts to prohibit conversion therapy to a national level have not yet won approval by the Congress.
Seattle is now the third city in America to ban this practice. Lorena Gonzalez confirmed that being LGBT is not a disease and therefore does not need a cure. Conversion therapy is a devastating practice that has to end.
She also pointed out that conversion therapy is a form of psychological manipulation and has repeatedly been publicly shamed.
Her speech also refers to a resolution by the American Psychological Association which advises families and friends to „avoid sexual orientation change efforts,” that depict homosexuality as a disorder.
This ordinance will make the practice a breach of a person’s civil rights and will allow the Office of Civil Rights to fine five hundred dollars for a first attempt and one thousand dollars for the following violations.
Nationally, one in three young LGBTQ people can experience some form of conversion therapy when coming out.
Gonzalez compared the therapy to the segregation which was suffered by Native Americans. This is similar to what happened to Native Indians in the name of assimilation. Families were separated from their children, and this all happened just one generation earlier. Children were sent to boarding schools by the United States government, to try to erase their native Indian heritage by force.
Debora Juarez, a council member, also gave out an emotional speech about how the lives of young LGBTQ people will change following this ordinance. She said that it breaks her heart to pass a law that recognizes a group of people’s humanity, and she blessed the audience.
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