Ohio Legislators Introduce Bills To Ban Harmful Gay Conversion Therapy In Ultra-Conservative State

Ex-Gay

 

Two bills, one introduced in the Ohio House and one in the Senate, would make it illegal for Ohio’s licensed medical professionals to practice what’s most often referred to as reparative, conversion or sexual-reorientation therapy on a minor.

Sen. Charleta B. Tavares, D-Columbus, reintroduced an Ohio Senate bill in February that would ban reparative or conversion therapy for minors after a similar measure failed in 2013. Last week, a companion House bill was introduced by Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, and Rep. Denise Driehaus, D-Cincinnati.

Tavares said conversion therapy “can damage (children) permanently. We’ve heard cases across the county where people have attempted and completed suicide.”

Last year Leeah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl from Cincinnati, walked in front of a truck after saying in a suicide note that her parents refused to accept her gender identity and sent her to conversion therapy. In April, President Barack Obama said he supports legislation popularly called “Leelah’s Law,” which would ban conversion therapy for minors nationwide.

In 2009 The American Psychological Association passed a resolution in 2009 condemning conversion therapy.

But despite this some  anti-gay “counselors” still don’t agree.

Christian counselor Elton Moose, director of New Pathways in Springfield, said Ohioans still need the ability to choose whether they want their child to be treated to address homosexuality.  Moose said he doesn’t consider what he does “conversion therapy” and that he simply “helps individuals to overcome the power of homosexuality,” often by “re-orienting” feelings toward the same sex and directing those he counsels on how to avoid acting on them.

While the Ohio bills have the best intentions. There is one major problem. 

Moose, who isn’t licensed with an Ohio board, and many like him would be able to continue his therapy if either bill becomes law

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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