Superior Passes Conversion Therapy Ban

Updated: August 20, 2019 10:33 PM

The Superior City Council passed a ban on conversion therapy. 

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Under the new ordinance, anyone under 18 cannot be subjected to any treatment or counseling that aims to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Councilors Ruth Ludwig and Jenny Van Sickle introduced the ordinance. Ludwig shared a personal story about her daughter coming out and the fear and confusion that came with it. She said in the end, love was thicker than anything else, and the conversion therapy ban is there to protect those who do not have supporting families. 

A couple people expressed concerns that the ban restricts parental rights and could even lead to legal challenges, but overwhelmingly, people at the meeting supported the ban. 

Kathleen Culhane spoke about faith and science and said they are not mutually exclusive. 

"Being able to connect to one another is the highest human ideal, in my opinion. And to take conversion therapy, as an example, that destroys the self, that breaks connection, that causes one to become less or damaged or harmed and removes one from one's community. That's horrible," she said. 

Councilor Brent Fennessey called it a "nasty form of therapy," but said he was concerned the ordinance was more about sending a message and enforcement would be difficult. He made a motion to send the ordinance to the city-county committee, and four other councilors supported it. But the motion failed 5-6. 

When it came time to vote on the ban, it passed unanimously. 

Culhane hopes it sends a message to Douglas County and to the state legislature that they should get on board too. 

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