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Proposed Lakewood ordinance would ban gay conversion therapy

"We want to send a clear message that they are not welcome here."

LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- Lakewood city council is considering an ordinance that would ban the practice of gay conversion therapy within the city.

Councilman Dan O'Malley says he is not aware of any therapists who currently practice conversion therapy within Lakewood, but added that there are some practicing within the state.

"We want to send a clear message that they are not welcome here," he said in an email to WKYC Wednesday.

O'Malley says the ordinance has been referred to the council's Health and Human Services Committee for review. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8 and council could vote on the ordinance as soon as Oct. 15.

LGBTQ groups have petitioned Ohio Gov. John Kasich to ban conversion therapy. Fourteen states have statewide bans on conversion therapy, while Athens, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo have all issued citywide bans in Ohio.

According to The Washington Post, nearly 700,000 Americans have undergone a form of conversion therapy.