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City becomes sixth in Wisconsin to ban conversion therapy

Lily Wakefield July 18, 2019
conversion therapy

A parade goer holds a giant rainbow flag at the annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The city of Racine in Wisconsin has become the sixth in the state to outlaw conversion therapy for anyone under the age of 18.

18 states in the US, including New York and California, have currently banned conversion therapy state-wide, but Wisconsin is not yet one of them and relies on individual cities banning the damaging practice.

City council member Cavalier Johnson said in a statement: “I applaud the City of Racine City Council for voting to ban conversion therapy and I commend the community leaders who advocated for this change (conversion therapy is a dangerous practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.)

“Conversion therapy has been cited to increase the likelihood of someone experiencing depression, anxiety or attempting suicide.”

In 2018, he said, Milwaukee became the first city in Wisconsin to ban conversion therapy for minors, and was followed by Madison, Eau Claire, Cudahy and Shorewood, making Racine the sixth.

Satya-Rhodes Conway becomes Madison’s first lesbian mayor
Satya-Rhodes Conway is the first lesbian mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. (Facebook)

City council member Cavalier Johnson calls for a state-wide ban on conversion therapy in Wisconsin

He added: “However, I continue to call for a state-wide ban on conversion therapy, and strongly encourage action from municipalities in the interim.”

Another Racine city council member, Trevor Jung, said: “Last night we sent a message to our LGBTQ youth that they are welcomed, loved and an important part of our community that deserve full protections under the law.

“Our community has taken a critical step in protecting children from abuse.”

Regional organising lead with The Human Rights Campaign Wisconsin, Deon Young, wrote on Twitter: “Tuesday the city of Racine became the sixth in Wisconsin to protect against conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapy is a cruel and unsupported practice which aims to force LGBTQ youth to change who they are. A huge thank you for protecting all Racinians!”

Earlier this year, Satya Rhodes-Conway became the first lesbian mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. 

 

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