Public hearing scheduled for conversion-therapy ban

Public hearing scheduled for conversion-therapy ban

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A City Council committee will hold a public hearing on a proposed bill to ban conversion therapy for minors in Philadelphia.

The Committee on Public Health and Human Services will hold the hearing 10 a.m. June 12 in Room 400 of City Hall, 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd. Councilman Mark Squilla introduced the bill at a City Council meeting in December.

The legislation would amend Chapter 9-900 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled "Professions," to add a new Section 9-903, entitled "Conversion Therapy." The bill would prohibit “the practice of conversion therapy by mental-health providers on patients under 18 years of age, under certain terms and conditions.”

Penalties for mental-health providers violating this ordinance include a $2,000 fine and revocation of their commercial-activity license.

Following public testimony, a committee meeting will be held to take action on the measure.

“This bill sends the necessary and clear message to all Philadelphians that ‘conversion therapy’ is a deceptive term for an unacceptable practice that employs psychological abuse, rejection and shame,” Squilla said in a December statement. “No young person anywhere, and certainly not in Philadelphia, should be subjected to torture for who they are or who they love.”

Mayor Jim Kenney also voiced his support for the bill.

“Philadelphia stands as a city of love, acceptance and hope for all people,” Kenney said in a statement. “Our LGBTQ youth cannot and will not be subjected to the torment and torture of conversion therapy in our city. I am heartened by the other cities passing similar bills and hope the message resounds nationwide: We cannot stand for violence of any kind against people for who they are or who they love.”


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