Huntington Woods Commission Bans Conversion Therapy

BTL Staff
By | 2019-06-12T16:10:14-04:00 June 12th, 2019|Michigan, News|

The Huntington Woods City Commission voted unanimously at its June 4 meeting to enact an ordinance banning the practice of conversion therapy within the city limits. Violators will be guilty of a municipal civil infraction. Huntington Woods is now the first and only city in Michigan to ban the practice. The ordinance was introduced by City Commissioner Joe Rozell.
“Eighteen states and two territories already ban the practice of conversion therapy,” City Commissioner Rozell said. “Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in our state legislature won’t allow a statewide ban in Michigan to be put to a vote in the house and senate. That means we as local leaders must act to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our citizens and ban the practice locally.”
Huntington Woods has a history of progressive leadership, being one of the first cities to enact a human rights ordinance.
“Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this city stands for,” Rozell said.
Numerous professional organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association all deem the practice as harmful.
“The American Psychological Association has concluded that conversion therapy leads to substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts by young people exposed to this therapy. I believe that exposing children to these outcomes is dangerous, especially in light of the fact that no evidence exists that the practice is beneficial,” Rozell said.
By city charter, the ordinance will take legal effect 20 days after adoption.
“I’m very proud of my colleagues on the commission for supporting
this ordinance,” Rozell said.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.