Even though I hope Cincinnati's pro-football team loses to the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, I must commend the city for taking the right step in ensuring the health of lgbts and particularly lgbt children. And it did this in spite of opposition.
Almost two dozen pastors and citizens packed Cincinnati Council Chambers on Wednesday in an organized effort to stop a proposed city ban on so-called "conversion" therapy for gay youth.
In the end, council voted 7-2 to pass the law, which prohibits therapy designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity for minors, and imposes a $200-a-day fine on violators. Cincinnati follows four states – California, Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey – and the District of Columbia banning the therapy, becoming the first city outside of D.C. to do so.
. . . "This is about saving the lives of LGBT people," said Councilman Chris Seelbach, who led the effort to bring the ban to the city. He spoke of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager who killed herself last December; her suicide note cited the controversial therapy to which she had been subjected.
"She challenged us to make her death matter, and we’re doing just that," Seelbach said.
Twenty-one people spoke out against the ban during Council's comment period, decrying it as an assault on free speech and freedom of religion.
These folks should be aware of the fact that both freedom of speech and religion have reasonable limits. You can't yell "fired" in crowded theatre and parents can't keep their children from getting proper medical care even if they claim said medical care is against their religion.
And according to several medical organizations; including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the American College of Physicians, "conversion" or "ex-gay" therapy is not only fraudulent but can pose a serious danger.