Today, the Cincinnati City Council became the first city to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The historic ordinance imposes a $200 a day fine on anyone practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.
 
The move was largely in response to tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who died by suicide. Alcorn felt rejected by her conservative Christian family who would not allow her to live openly as her affirmed gender and forced her to undergo conversion therapy.
 
Earlier this year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) released a new report definitively denouncing the practice. In October, HRC and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) released sample legislation for state legislators and equality advocates who want to protect LGBTQ youth. 
 
Openly gay Councilman Chris Seelbach introduced the legislation.
 
“No licensed medical professional can perform any type of ‘treatment’ to change the sexual orientation or gender identity/expression of a minor in the City of Cincinnati," he tweeted. "It is now the law of the land in Cincinnati, Ohio. As Equality Ohio Board Chair John Boggess​ said, ‘This is a matter of public safety.’ The safety of young LGBT people throughout our City.”
 
NCLR and HRC have partnered with state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation to end this dangerous practice, including laws passed in California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Illinois.

Last year, NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign to stop conversion therapy across the country by 2019 by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
 
For more information about the dangers of conversion therapy and NCLR’s #BornPerfect campaign visit www.NCLRights.org/BornPerfect or HRC's resource page.


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