Kansas City Suburb Bans Lgbtq Conversion Therapy

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City suburb has agreed to ban controversial conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth.

The Kansas City Star reports that licensed medical or mental health professionals face a $1,000 fine for trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity under the ban that the the Prairie Village, Kansas, City Council approved 11-1 on Monday.

The ban does not prohibit churches or religious leaders from speaking with youth about their sexuality or gender identity.

Councilwoman Inga Selders thanked the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Kansas, which has pushed for an end to the practice, emphasizing the harm conversion therapy does to minors.

Lawrence and Roeland Park also banned the practice in Kansas. Missouri cities with conversion therapy bans include Kansas City, North Kansas City, St. Louis, St. Joseph and Columbia.

Councilwoman Sheila Myers cast the lone “no” vote. She previously suggested the ban wasn’t needed because it is unclear if any professionals in Prairie Village are practicing conversion therapy.

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association found that conversion therapy lacks scientific evidence and can harm young LGBTQ people by contributing to depression and mental health issues.