Columbia City Council unanimously approves child conversion therapy ban
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council unanimously approved to ban conversion therapy on juveniles Monday night.
Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change a person's sexual orientation. The ordinance prohibits licensed professionals from practicing the therapy on people under the age of 18.
Those who spoke at the meeting were in favor of the ban. Many said the ban would save lives and protect people from trauma.
"We believe that this is the opportunity to show leadership with integrity in Columbia," said Andrea Waner, chair of the Human Rights Commission.
Councilman Karl Skala commented in favor of the ban, as well.
"I think the legitimacy of this is liberated by the data," Skala said. "I'm also the father of a very happily married gay daughter. I support this conversion therapy ban and I hope the rest of my colleagues will see fit to do that as well."
The city's human rights commission recommended the ordinance.