Central PA's LGBT News Source
Allentown City Council by unanimous vote July 18 banned Conversion Therapy.
Bill 40, Council's Appropriate Mental Health Services Ordinance, will be signed into law by Mayor Ed Pawlowski today (July 20) at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, 522 W. Maple St., Allentown.
The ordinance was introduced June 21 with six members of council, Candida Affa, Julio Guridy, Daryl Hendricks, David McGuire, Cynthia Mota, Ray O'Connell, and Mayor Ed Pawlowski joining as co-sponsors.
City Council's Committee of the Whole heard public comment and deliberated on the merits of the ordinance on July 12 and advanced the bill with a unanimous vote.
Allentown joins eight states and 19 U.S. cities in banning the practice. (In the Central Voice Sept-Oct print edition, local mental health professional Melinda Eash will address the controversial practice which claims to change a person’s sexual orientation through behavioral therapy.)
The Appropriate Mental Health Services Ordinance was proposed by Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and drafted by attorneys at National Center for Lesbian Rights and Jerner & Palmer P.C.
"Today is a proud day for Allentown's LGBT community to be able to witness the final passage, with unanimous support from City Council and the Mayor, of this important legislation that protects LGBT youth from so-called 'conversion therapy,'" said Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Executive Director Adrian Shanker.
"LGBT youth are fine just the way they are. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is committed to seeing an end to conversion therapy in the Lehigh Valley to ensure that LGBT youth receive high-quality health care, not junk science, from mental health professionals in Allentown."
Attorney Tiffany Palmer commented, “we were proud to be part of this effort to ban the dangerous practice of conversion therapy. We applaud the Allentown City Council in passing this important ordinance to protect minors in the Lehigh Valley.”