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Cleveland City Council members introduce legislation that would ban conversion therapy for children within the community

The ordinance would prohibit 'efforts to change sexual orientation, gender identity or expression' among minors.

CLEVELAND — Members of Cleveland City Council on Tuesday introduced legislation that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on children within the community.

The ordinance is being sponsored by Council members Brian Mooney, Kerry McCormack, Jenny Spencer, Rebecca Maurer, and Stephanie Howse. Specifically it would prohibit all mental health professionals working in the city from "knowingly engag[ing] ... in sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression change efforts with a minor, without regard to whether the mental health professional is compensated or receives any form of renumeration for his or her services."

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Conversion therapy has most often been used against members of the LGBTQ+ community as part of efforts to "change" their sexual inclinations. It has been widely condemned as harmful by health professionals and discredited as being pseudoscientific, and the proposed ordinance notes the American Psychological Association has twice passed resolutions discouraging parents from using it on their own kids.

In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy for at least minors, but it remains legal in Ohio. However, nine municipalities across the state have outlawed the practice, including Cleveland Heights, Kent, and Lakewood.

Should the legislation pass, potential penalties for violators would then be put in place. It will next head to the Directors of Finance and Law before being considered by City Council's Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

You can read the full ordinance below:

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