On Wednesday Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett signed an ordinance that bans “conversion” or reparative therapy and counseling for minors. This is counseling used by many Christians that offers help and hope to persons struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues. The ordinance says it applies to licensed mental health professionals who charge for their services and also indicates the only therapy or counseling they can give minors is that which affirms and encourages same-sex attraction and biological gender-rejection.
At a minimum this ordinance robs parents of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interest of their children. They are also ominous for churches and pastors, something many pastors in Milwaukee have recognized. Such freedom-robbing, wrong-headed laws are sweeping the nation. Unfortunately, in Wisconsin, those pushing this agenda are picking off our cities one by one.
See press release from Tony Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center below:
Mayor Signs Conversion Therapy Ban
Interim Executive Director
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Applauds Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for Protecting LGBT Youth by Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors
MILWAUKEE – The Center and the LGBT Community thank Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for passing and signing a law that prohibits the use of conversion therapy on minors. Milwaukee is the first municipality in Wisconsin to pass such a measure and joins a growing number of municipalities across the country, including cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.
Organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association and many others reject the use of conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
“We are very pleased that Milwaukee has banned the use of conversion therapy on minors and thank Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council for taking this important step. We hope Milwaukee will prove to be just the first of many municipalities in Wisconsin to ban this harmful and discredited practice that uses rejection, shame and psychological abuse aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Studies conducted by major mental health organizations and personal testimony from LGBT youth have shown that conversion therapy can create dangerous and even life-threatening effects, including depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and suicidal behavior. We are especially grateful for Alderman Cavalier Johnson’s legislative leadership and sponsorship of the ordinance,” said Center Executive Director Tony Snell.
The City of Milwaukee ordinance prohibits licensed mental health professionals, those who charge for the service, from engaging in conversion therapy with minors, carrying a civil penalty for each violation.
About the Center
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ people and to making the Greater Milwaukee area safer and more inclusive, visit www.mkelgbt.org.
Tony Snell Rodriguez
Interim Executive Director
Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
(414) 292-3060 (direct)
(414) 271-2161 (fax)
pronouns used: (he/him/his/they/them/their)