The city of West Allis Common Council passed an ordinance ending the practice of conversion therapy for minors Tuesday night.
Conversion therapy is a practice that aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The practice has been denounced by professional organizations including the American Psychological Association.
1st District Alderman Angelito Tenorio introduced the ordinance along with co-sponsor Alderwoman Suzzette Grisham.
“We took conclusive action to protect West Allis’ youth from this incredibly harmful practice and sent a message to our LGBTQ+ identifying citizens that their identity is valid, they are loved, and their community acknowledges them and the value they bring to our city,” said Tenorio.
According to Austin Kieler, founder of People Against Conversion Therapy (PACT), LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to suffer from mental health issues and higher suicide rates than their cisgender peers.
“Conversion therapy only compounds these problems and is severely harmful to those who are subjected to it. Last night’s vote protecting youth from this archaic practice is an achievement for West Allis and for the LGBTQ+ community across the state,” said Kieler.
West Allis will join Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, and several other Wisconsin municipalities in banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors.