Kentucky’s largest city has become the second in the state to ban the discredited and deadly practice of anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy” on minors by licensed therapists with a bi-partisan Louisville Metro Council vote of 24-1 tonight. Louisville joins twenty states, Washington, D.C., and more than seventy U.S. cities that have banned “conversion therapy” on minors, including the Northern Kentucky city Covington, which became first in the commonwealth to ban the practice earlier this year.
Louisville Metro Councilman Bill Hollander, Councilwoman Jessica Green, Councilwoman Nicole George, and Councilman Brandon Coan introduced the ordinance after dozens of Kentucky lawmakers–both Republicans and Democrats–co-sponsored statewide “conversion therapy” bans introduced by Louisville State Representative Lisa Willner and Lexington State Senator Alice Forgy Kerr earlier this year. That legislation received an historic discussion in Frankfort last month during an interim joint meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly’s Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee.
A recent study by The Trevor Project, which surveyed 34,000 LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13-24, found that five percent of respondents reported being subjected to conversion therapy. Forty-two percent of the LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the past year, more than twice the rate of their LGBTQ peers who did not report undergoing conversion therapy. Fifty-seven percent of transgender and non-binary youth who had undergone conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year.