Angelito Tenorio
Press Release

West Allis Bans Conversion Therapy for Minors

Angelito Tenorio, Alderman for the 1st District introduced the ordinance; says conversion therapy causes irreparable harm to LGBTQ+ youth and must be stopped

By - Sep 2nd, 2020 07:14 am

West Allis, WI — On Tuesday night, the City of West Allis Common Council passed an ordinance ending the practice of conversion therapy on minors with a vote of 6-3. 1st District Alderman Angelito Tenorio introduced the ordinance along with co-sponsor Alderwoman Suzzette Grisham.

Conversion Therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Many major medical and professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of Social Workers, have denounced the practice and warn of the harm it causes. Once the ordinance is enacted, West Allis will join Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, and several other Wisconsin municipalities in banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors. 

“Last night, the West Allis Common Council voted 6-3 to pass the ordinance I introduced banning the practice of conversion therapy on a minor,” said Tenorio. “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. I’m incredibly proud of our city and would like to thank Alderperson Grisham for cosponsoring, my fellow council members, especially Alderperson Danna Kuehn for her assistance and support, and Mayor Devine for joining me in passing this important legislation. I would also like to thank the activists and community members who supported this ordinance for their continuous advocacy. Love wins in West Allis.”

“LGBTQ+ youth are far more likely to suffer from mental health issues and have significantly higher rates of suicide than their straight or cisgender peers,” says Austin Kieler, founder of People Against Conversion Therapy (PACT). Kieler and this coalition of Wisconsinites work to end conversion therapy across the state. “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.”

“Conversion therapy is a cruel, non-scientific practice and has no place in society,” says Jessica Katzenmeyer, West Allis resident and LGBTQ rights activist. “The worst cases of conversion therapy practices have gone as far as to use electro-shock therapy, even on children. As a past victim of conversion therapy, this is something I never want another person to go through. I’m incredibly thankful for Alderman Tenorio’s leadership on this issue, and to Alders Grisham & Kuehn for their assistance and support in passing this ordinance.”

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