Louisville could become the second Kentucky city to protect LGBTQ minors from the dangerous and deadly practice of “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Councilman Bill Hollander filed the ordinance Monday with co-sponsors Councilwoman Jessica Green, Councilwoman Jessica Green, Councilwoman Nicole George, and Councilman Brandon Coan.
The Louisville ordinance mirrors a statewide ban that received an historic discussion in Frankfort last week during an interim joint meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly’s Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee. In the past year, dozens of Kentucky lawmakers from both sides of the aisle co-sponsored statewide bans introduced by Louisville State Representative Lisa Willner and Lexington State Senator Alice Forgy Kerr. Twenty states across the U.S. now ban the practice of “conversion therapy” on minors by licensed therapists along with dozens of cities, including Covington in Northern Kentucky, which passed a similar ordinance earlier this year.
A 2019 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.
The ordinance is assigned to the Community Affairs, Health, and Education Committee, where it will likely be considered on September 9 or 23.