Kentucky lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to ban conversion therapy

Two Kentucky legislators introduced a bipartisan bill to ban conversion therapy in the...
Two Kentucky legislators introduced a bipartisan bill to ban conversion therapy in the Commonwealth state.(MGN)
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 4:17 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 11:28 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WXIX) - A bipartisan bill that would ban conversion therapy, a practice that attempts to psychologically and physically change someone’s sexual orientation or gender, was introduced in committee to the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Representatives Lisa Willner (D-Louisville) and Killian Timoney (R-Lexington) co-sponsored House Bill 162, known as “The Youth Mental Health Protection Act,” which would prohibit healthcare providers or mental health workers from engaging in or referring a patient to any form of “sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts,” especially minors.

The bill prohibits public funds, such as state and local money, from being given to organizations or groups that practice conversion therapy or donate to institutions that practice it.

“A license to provide mental health services ought to be, at the bare minimum, a guarantee to the public that the provider is not engaging in discredited and dangerous practices,” Willner said.

Additionally, the Department for Public Health and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities will be required to develop educational materials that explain the “health risks and emotional trauma” conversion therapy can have on someone, the bill said. These materials will then be distributed to any professionals that may have contact with someone in the LGBTQ+ community.

This is not the first time Kentucky legislators have taken a swing at banning conversion therapy in their state.

Over the past four years, at least five bills have been introduced to the house and senate regarding the mental health of minors and conversion therapy.

However, all five bills died in their committees just days after they were introduced.

If H.B. 162 passes, Kentucky would join 20 other states in banning conversion therapy for minors and would be the first member of the Tri-State to ban the practice.

Covington, Louisville-Jefferson County and Lexington-Fayette County are the only places in Kentucky with a local ban on conversion therapy.

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