The city of Davenport, Iowa plans to abolish “conversion therapy,” joining at least 20 other states and several nations in protecting LGBTQ minors.
Under the proposed ordinance, mental health providers and medical practitioners may no longer offer the outdated and unscientific method of “converting” gay minors.
Read on for the full story.
You may also want to check out: New Bill in Canada Bans Conversion Therapy
Davenport Set to Impose Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ for LGBTQ minors
Davenport plans to banish the application of conversion therapy on youth and minors.
Conversion Therapy is a harmful and invalidated practice that attempts to “modify” one’s sexual preferences.
According to the modified ordinance by City Council, all medical providers of the region will be prohibited from offering as well as promoting this discredited therapy to LGBTQ minors.
The proposed ordinance also increases the time given to minors to take legal action against conversion therapy practitioners.
If passed, minors can file a complaint pertaining to the therapy up until their nineteenth birthday, an extra year beyond the current law.
The Civil Rights Commission will take care of such complaints.
Davenport’s Mayor Mike Matson said in response to the news, “I think this (practice) has no place and that we should pass it right away.” He further added that this ordinance has received the support of the area’s mental health professionals.
Conversion therapy is an outdated practice not backed by science
The procedure of conversion therapy includes different types of interventions ranging from deprivation of food and liquid, hypnosis, electric shock to smelling of salts.
All these interventions aim at altering the sexual identity of the gay community, particularly LGBTQ minors.
The therapy has always faced backlash from numerous medical organizations and professionals.
As per the American Medical Association, the technique is based on the hypothesis that both gender identity and homosexuality are byproducts of mental illness and ought to be altered.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence backing the “therapy,” however.
On the other hand, there is empirical evidence to validate that gender identity and homosexuality are biologically “normal” and have no relation to any mental disorder.
Many studies have also shown that conversion therapy has several side effects. It induces anxiety, depression, loneliness and alienation in individuals.
Furthermore, it can even lead to suicidal behaviors.
Davenport not the first to ban conversion therapy
Davenport is not the first state in the league to forbid conversion therapy in some way.
More than twenty states, including Illinois, have barred this discredited practice.
Back in 2015, Iowa Legislature was quite close to imposing a ban on the procedure for the minors.
Unfortunately, the Senate opted against passing the bill, even after the House of Representatives approved it.
Mental health providers and religious entities in the town of Davenport currently practices conversion therapy.
However, the extent to which this procedure is followed in the region is unknown.
Many people report coming across advertisements and banners that promote the therapy in Davenport.
Generally, the practice is popular under the pseudonym of ‘reparative therapy’.
Many people and medical professionals have come out in public to spread awareness and address the LGBTQ community to prevent them from undertaking this harmful procedure.
Associate Professor of St. Ambrose University, Sarah Eikleberry announced this practice as “pseudoscientific” as well as a type of child abuse and requested City Council to impose the ban.
Unfortunately, some religious groups believe that banning conversion therapy violates their religious rights.
A pastors’ group in Illinois sued the state for the ban by exclaiming that the act violates their religious rights.
Overall, this proposal is receiving support from a majority of people- medical professionals and residents.
Many residents called conversation therapy ‘crazy.’ They feel such practices don’t belong in their community.