Columbus Council Bans Conversion Therapy by Mental Health Professionals

Mar 28, 2017

Officials in Columbus have voted to ban conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The ordinance does not apply to religious practices.

The Columbus City Council voted Monday to ban the practice. Professionals in the medical community say the practice is illegitimate and does not work - and the American Psychological Association says such practices, through either therapy or religious ministry, can actually be harmful.

Backers of the Columbus law say it’s constitutional because it applies to mental health professionals, and not clergy.

LGBTQ rights groups within the city worked with Equality Ohio and other civil rights organizations to ensure the law was passed.

Columbus follows some other cities, including Cincinnati and Toledo, that have passed similar ordinances.

Conversion therapy has been embraced by some faith-based groups, including Focus on the Family. It's been denounced by medical groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.