Puerto Rico bans conversion therapy
Statement of Alderman Cavalier Johnson March 29, 2019
I congratulate the citizens of and their elected officials in Puerto Rico for passing legislation that bans so-called conversion therapy for gay or transgender minors on their island. Governor Ricardo A. Rossello signed an executive order this past Wednesday. His statement reads in part: “…the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
In Spring 2018, under legislation I sponsored, Milwaukee became the first city in Wisconsin to outlaw conversion therapy practices for anyone under 18. Since then we have seen other Wisconsin cities including Madison, Eau Claire and Cudahy follow suit.
I again call for a statewide ban on conversion therapy, and in the interim, I urge individual municipalities to outlaw this dangerous practice. Studies from the American Psychological Association report that “lifelong effects of conversion therapy include depression, suicidality, and substance abuse.” To be clear, conversion therapy can have wide-ranging harmful, lasting effects on individuals, and has no place in any municipality in Wisconsin.
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