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Lexington becomes third Kentucky city to ban 'conversion therapy' for LGBTQ youths

Lexington Conversion Therapy Ban KY Map.jpg
Posted at 8:28 AM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 08:30:34-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors.

The vote made Lexington the third city in Kentucky, along with Louisville and Covington, to ban the controversial practice that aims to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.

"This is a step that will further protect LGBTQ+ youth and makes our city a more safe, equitable, and just place to live," councilwoman Hannah LeGris said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Kentucky lawmakers cosponsored statewide conversion therapy bans earlier this year. While that legislation received a historic discussion in Frankfort last summer during an interim joint committee meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly, it received no consideration during the 2021 legislative session.

"It's exciting to see Lexington continue to lead on LGBTQ rights in Kentucky," shared Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman. "Now it's time for the state to follow suit. We should not have to fight for LGBTQ protections city by city and county by county. It's long past time for the Kentucky General Assembly to pass both the Youth Mental Health Protection Act and a Statewide Fairness Law, ensuring LGBTQ protections for all Kentuckians."

According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 10 percent of LGBTQ youth reported undergoing conversion therapy, with 78% reporting it occurred when they were under the age of 18. Kids who reported undergoing conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not.