ST. LOUIS, Mo. - St. Louis is poised to become the third city in Missouri to ban the controversial practice of so-called "conversion therapy" for minors following Friday's overwhelming vote by the Board of Aldermen outlawing the practice. Mayor Lyda Krewson is expected to sign the bill.

 

"Reparative" or "conversion therapy," is a widely discredited practice which attempts to switch a person's sexual orientation to heterosexual. Columbia and Kansas City adopted similar bans earlier this year.

 

“There is absolutely no recognized psychological or psychiatric association that believes that this is a practice that has any value at all,” said Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, D-6th Ward, the bill’s lead sponsor. “In fact it creates serious problems with issues of depression, suicidal ideations and suicide itself within the population of folks who have to undergo this traumatic procedure.”

 

According to KMOX, the ban would NOT apply to conversion therapists whose practice is federally-protected because of a religious affiliation. Any currently operating state-licensed therapist would NOT be grandfathered in.

 

Alleged violators would be investigated by the city health department and could face a civil fine.

 

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