OPINION

‘Conversion therapy’ actively harms young people, and Blue Springs should ban it

The Examiner

Courtney M. Yount Mcginnis, Blue Springs 

To the editor: 

Did you know that that the risk of suicide among LGB youth is almost five times higher than that of their heterosexual peers? This risk of suicide magnifies another two times when they are subjected to a perfectly legal form of torture, called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy (CRT). Even when a parent believes they are acting in the child’s best interest, CRT results in a heightened health risk for that child and a feeling of rejection. 

Despite being labeled as a violation of human rights, very few jurisdictions have banned CRT. CRT seeks to convince LGBTQ individuals that their sexuality is a choice and their behavior is deviant. While CRT may include talk therapy, it also uses aversion treatments such as inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis; providing electric shocks; being isolated locked in rooms; or even being forced to reenact abuse. 

The LGBTQ+ children in Blue Springs are at risk of falling prey to this practice as the city does not ban the practice. A group of brave young activists have asked for our support in demanding a change to Chapter 220 of the Code of Ordinances, “Offenses Against the Person,” to ban this type of therapy in Blue Springs. 

The AMA, the APA and the AAP, among others have issued public statements opposing the use of conversion therapy because it is harmful and ineffective. The fact is it doesn’t work. The fact is our children are at risk of serious harm without the ban. The fact is we can do something about it.  

Please consider writing to your City Council members and the mayor to explain why “conversion” therapy should be banned in the city of Blue Springs.