Louisville – the largest city in Kentucky, US with over 600,000 residents – has become the second area in the state to ban LGBTQ+ ‘conversion therapy’ following a vast majority vote from the local council. Covington was the first Kentucky city to outlaw the practise in March 2020. The new legalisation prohibits any kind of practise that attempts ‘to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ+ youth’. The Louisville Metro Council voted 24 to 1; the standout vote was Stuart Benson’s who had claimed during previous hearings that he didn’t ‘have enough facts’ to support the ban’.
The controversial practise has been widely discredited and is known to cause trauma in those who are subjected to it. A survey by the Trevor Project found in the UK, 42% of conversion therapy survivors had seriously contemplated taking their own life in 2018. 2020 saw survivors take to social media platform TikTok to share their stories, with one user describing it as ‘torture’.
Fairness Campaign, an LGBTQ+ organisation situated in Kentucky, has congratulated Louisville for making the move to support LGBTQ+ rights. The Trevor Project has also praised the Louisville council for ‘protecting LGBTQ+ youth’.
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