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File #: 0525-2017    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 2/22/2017 In control: Rules & Reference Committee
On agenda: 3/27/2017 Final action: 3/29/2017
Title: To enact new section 2331.10 of the Columbus City Codes prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy or reparative therapy on minors and prescribing penalties for violations of that section.
Sponsors: Zach M. Klein
Explanation
The City of Columbus has a proud tradition as an exemplar for inclusiveness, acceptance, and progressive social action. Home to one of the largest populations of residents identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, Columbus has long sought to protect the rights and secure the safety and well-being of those citizens who often find themselves subject to oppression and attack.

One such necessary protection is against attempts to change or alter sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression through the practice of “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy.” This practice has been widely condemned by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other expert bodies as a harmful and dangerous exercise.

There is little or no scientifically-demonstrated efficacy or benefit provided by conversion therapy or reparative therapy. There is, however, substantial evidence of the potential mental and emotional risk inherent in the practice. In 2009, the American Psychological Association concluded that efforts to “change” sexual orientation or gender identity among youths was cause for feelings of “confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, self-blame, decreased self-esteem…feelings of anger and betrayal, and loss of friends,” among others. Because of these highly-adverse effects, the American Psychological Association issued a resolution that “advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”

It is this Council’s objective to protect residents through the prohibition of the practice of conversion therapy and reparat...

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