Madison, Wisconsin bans 'ex-gay' therapy to minors

Fri. July 13, 2018 7:03 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Madison, WI - With a unanimous vote taken on Monday, Madison became The Second City in Wisconsin to ban therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth.

Such therapies go by names such as "conversion therapy," "reparative therapy" or "ex-gay therapy."

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, the ordinance was sponsored by alders Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Amanda Hall and Arvina Martin.

Madison's ban only applies to services which are provided for free.

"I think it really serves as a statement of the values of the city, and making sure that we are really making it clear that this kind of practice is really unacceptable in not recognizing the identity of our LGBT community," Bidar-Sielaff said.

Milwaukee approved a similar ban in March.

"[T]he fact that Milwaukee took action pushed us," Bidar-Sielaff said.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, praised the move.

"No child should be subjected to abuse – and that's exactly what this dangerous, discredited practice of so-called 'conversion therapy' really is," said HRC Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout. "That's why this abusive practice has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, and why 14 states and Washington, D.C. have taken action to protect minors from conversion therapy."

Similar legislation has been enacted in New Hampshire, Hawaii, Maryland, Washington, Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico and the District of Columbia. Lawmakers in Delaware have approved a similar bill.

(Related: UK government announces plan to ban "ex-gay" therapy.)

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine