Erie City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday banning conversion therapy for minors. The vote was unanimous to prohibit the controversial therapy with children.
According to City Council the conversion therapy ordinance has been in the works for a while and it looks to make everyone accepted in the community. “We need to be welcoming and inclusive in our community and our young people need that safety,” said Kathy Schaaf, Erie City Councilwoman.
Conversion therapy is used as a method to change someones sexual orientation or gender identity. One advocate for this ban went onto say that with this being passed it not only is a win for the city, but for the youth as well. “I want the LGBTQ youth in the City of Erie live their truth. Live their life with dignity and respect because when we treat people the way we want to be treated, love always wins,” said Jason Brendel, LGBTQ advocate.
However, one person who is against the ban stated that this violates peoples rights. “We are dealing with the constitutionality of this ordinance, which is absolutely unconstitutional. It violates federal law, it violates Pennsylvania State law,” said Dr. John Diamond, director of Peachmakers Outreach.
As people begin to react to both sides of the issue, one council member went on to explain what she believes everybody needs to keep in mind. “There’re two sides to every coin, and we all have our ability and systems of why we are for or against something,” said Schaaf.
If someone were to be found violating this inside the city they could receive a fine of $600.