Milwaukee officials approve banning gay conversion therapy

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee officials sent the mayor a proposal to prohibit therapists and counselors from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation.

The vote Tuesday came amid a charged environment in city hall as supporters of the ban applauded and waved a rainbow-colored flag while opponents yelled "evil" at Common Council members. Two of the 15 council members voted no.

Mayor Tom Barrett has until April 7 to sign the ordinance and he plans to do so.

Nine state and several cities have bans on conversion therapy but there is no statewide prohibition in Wisconsin. Alderman Cavalier Johnson says conversion therapy is psychologically harmful and there's no proof it works.

Opponents are concerned the ban will infringe on religious-based counseling, but the prohibition applies only to practitioners who charge money.

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