Discredited conversion therapy banned in Kentucky’s second-largest county

Published 5:46 am Monday, May 10, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s second-largest county has banned state-licensed providers from practicing the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council on Thursday voted unanimously to enact the conversion therapy ban immediately.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide.

The newspaper reports that Lexington is believed to be the third city in Kentucky to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth.

Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky, a group that has advocated for a statewide ban, says there are an estimated seven conversion therapy providers in Fayette County. There are nearly 60 providers statewide.

“With Lexington’s ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ more than 20% of Kentucky’s population now lives in a city where children are protected from this deadly anti-LGBTQ torture,” said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign. “I am excited to see which city or county in our commonwealth will be the next to protect the lives of LGBTQ youth with a similar ban.”

Under the new ordinance, pastors who do not hold state-certified licensed would be exempt.