Anchorage Bans Therapeutic Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Involving Minors
Sep 4, 2020
On Tuesday, in a 9-2 vote, the Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance preventing licensed professionals such as therapists and school counselors from engaging in any effort to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The ordinance, which supporters argued is necessary to protect youth from abuse and coercion, applies only to licensed professionals, not those acting in a religious capacity, parents, or anyone who is not licensed to provide therapy.
While the practice of “conversion therapy” has drawn criticism from some medical professionals and counselors, a majority of the 65 people who testified in the two-day public hearing prior to the vote opposed the ordinance. Opponents argued that the ban interferes in the relationship between a child and their therapist, infringing on their rights of privacy and free speech.
Crystal Kennedy, one of the two assembly members to vote against the ordinance, stated, “It is one-sided. It really only serves to protect those who want to promote and protect homosexuality. There’s always another side, and we’ve heard a lot of that from a lot of the testimony over the last several days.”
Anchorage is now one of 20 cities across the U.S. to have passed “conversion therapy” bans over the last decade.
Anchorage Assembly bans some therapeutic conversations about gender confusion, sexual preference
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Anchorage Assembly passes ban on conversion therapy
Anchorage Assembly passes ordinance banning conversion therapy for youth