Linn County Passes Ban on Conversion Therapy …in 2022?
June in the United States is known as Pride Month -- of which, according to the Library of Congress, "The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally."
And thus, Linn County has finally decided to ban the use of conversion therapy, almost a decade after the practice first began to be outlawed in other parts of the country (which is still far, far too late if you ask me). The Linn County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance banning conversion therapy in a 2-1 vote on Monday, June 13, per KCRG.
For those unaware, the Human Rights Campaign defines conversion therapy as "a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."
Despite the lack of evidence that conversion therapy works along with the continued trauma LGBTQ people have experienced, no federal legislation has been passed in order to ban the practice. Linn County is also the first place in Iowa to pass such an ordinance since Davenport passed a similar ordinance in 2020.
This is what Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker said in a press release:
Banning the practice of conversion therapy is a moral imperative for all policymakers who take seriously their job of protecting the health and welfare of the people. This ordinance will save lives, which means supporting it is one of the most important things we can do for our community.
Linn County is the first County in Iowa to pass an ordinance banning conversion therapy, and it is my hope that our action here today inspires and encourages other governments here in Linn County and around the state to follow our lead.
Prior to sharing the message, Walker told KCRG that "he didn’t know of any organization using conversion therapy, but he said the ordinance would serve as a preventative measure."
Violation of the new legislation will result in a $750 fine in accordance with Iowa Code.