City Council passed two pieces of legislation last week that further support the LGBTQ community in Kansas City.
Council members unanimously voted Thursday, Nov. 14 to ban the use of conversion therapy on minors.
Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is a method of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity based on the belief that being LGBTQ is a mental illness.
Opponents to conversion therapy say it has lasting effects that could lead to suicide.
A national community of social workers and mental health professionals, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, determined there is no scientifically valid evidence that supports the practice of conversion therapy.
The American Psychiatric Association states that the “potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.”
The legislation applies to minors and to licensed medical or mental health professionals.
The ordinance states that “all minors in Kansas City… that seek therapy or treatment to assist them in understanding their individual development of gender identity or their sexual orientation should be free from exposure to the serious harms and risks caused by conversion therapy or reparative therapy.”
The council also passed a resolution recognizing November 20, 2019, as Transgender Day of Remembrance in Kansas City, Missouri.
This annual observance honors the memory of transgender people around the world whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence.
This resolution comes after a significant year of four transgender deaths in Kansas City.
“We stand with you and support you and will make sure that this is a community that is safe and welcoming to you,” said Councilman Eric Bunch.
These victims include Brianna “BB” Hill who was shot near 43rd and Hardesty in October and Brooklyn Lindsey who was shot on the front porch of a home near Independence Avenue and Spruce in June.