The ordinance, which was introduced by City Councilmember Bryan Callahan and sponsored by Councilmember Shawn Martell, was passed unanimously.
It has received significant support in the city from the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBTQ Community Center, KidsPeace Hospital, Valley Youth House, and Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley.
The ordinance prohibits licensed therapists from subjecting LGBTQ minors to various forms of "conversion therapies".
“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy which doesn’t work, and is tantamount to child abuse,” said Allison Van Kuiken, HRC Pennsylvania State Director. “That’s why this abusive practice has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, and why 14 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted laws or regulations to protect LGBTQ minors. We applaud the Bethlehem City Council and organizations like the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and Valley Youth House who made this possible, and remain committed to working with our partners in Pennsylvania and across the nation to ensure that young people are protected from this junk science in every jurisdiction.”
The other seven Pennsylvania cities that have adopted a similar ordinance are Reading, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Doylestown, State College and Yardley Borough.
Congratulations to Bethlehem for banning "ex-gay therapies" for LGBTQ minors!