KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cities and states across the country are banning conversion therapy for minors, and some Jackson County lawmakers want to be next.
But they need one more vote to get there.
However, last week a 5-to-1 vote in favor of banning conversion therapy on minors fell one vote short. They needed six votes to pass it.
The legislature meets at 3 p.m. Monday at the Jackson County Courthouse where legislator Manny Abarca said he will reintroduce the ordinance again.
However, Kansas City’s LGBTQ Commission will be holding a rally at 2 p.m. before the legislature’s meeting.
Last week, after the failed vote, Jackson County Executive Frank White decided to light up the courthouse overnight in a rainbow of color to pressure lawmakers.
And he plans to continue lighting the courthouse in shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple until a ban is passed.
“I remain confident that Jackson County can rise above this setback, right the wrong, and send a loud and clear message that Jackson County is a safe space for all by passing this common-sense legislation,” White said in a statement.
Supporters of conversion therapy believe homosexuality is something that can be “corrected,” and they use methods ranging from counseling, hypnosis, and medicine to the more extreme, such as shock therapy, withholding food, and exorcisms to try and turn a gay person straight.
However, researchers say this is damaging, inhumane and dangerous and causes mental health problems later in life.
A UCLA study shows more than 700,000 people have undergone conversion therapy, and many have become depressed and anxious, addicted to illegal drugs, homeless and suicidal.
In response, 19 states have banned the practice on minors. Missouri has not, but Kansas City did back in 2019.