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Kansas City Bans Conversion Therapy for Youth

Kansas City Bars Conversion Therapy for Youth

So-called ex-gays spoke out against the local ordinance.

Add Kansas City, Mo., to the localities outlawing the practice of conversion therapy for youth.

The Kansas City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday prohibiting licensed therapists from offering services claiming to change a child's sexual orientation or gender identity, reports The Kansas City Star.

The city is the second in Missouri to ban the practice.

Tom Jackson, an activist in Kansas City who said he's the parent of a transgender child, listed the array of medical associations that condemn the practice. This includes the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Psychological Association.

"If these organizations that study and dictate guidelines for medical care all suggest that this conversion therapy is damaging to LGBT individuals, then I would suggest the City Council follow their advice and vote to ban conversion therapy in our city to protect the rights of our LGBT citizens," he told the Committee on Finance, Governance and Public Safety.

But the council also heard from anti-LGBTQ activists in town, including a parade of so-called ex-gays who had received services at Desert Stream Living Waters ministries.

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph also spoke out against banning the practice and said the ordinance was "inappropriate encroachment by a city's police power into the work of professionals who are already well regulated by professional licensing standards and state law."

But the ordinance, like most passed around the country, doesn't apply to religious institutions and only governs the practice for youth.

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