Linn County passes ordinance banning conversion therapy

Official Logo for Linn County, Iowa Government.
Official Logo for Linn County, Iowa Government.(Linn County)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 1:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance banning conversion therapy in a 2-1 vote.

The ordinance bans any effort to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity and applies in unincorporated areas of Linn County.

“Banning the practice of conversion therapy is a moral imperative for all policymakers who take seriously their job of protecting the health and welfare of the people,” Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker said in a news release. “This ordinance will save lives, which means supporting it is one of the most important things we can do for our community.”

Before the passage of the ordinance, Walker told TV9 he didn’t know of any organization using conversion therapy, but he said the ordinance would serve as a preventative measure.

Linn the first county in Iowa to pass such an ordinance. Davenport passed a similar ordinance in 2020.

“Linn County is the first County in Iowa to pass an ordinance banning conversion therapy, and it is my hope that our action here today inspires and encourages other governments here in Linn County and around the state to follow our lead,” Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker said.

Troy Stevenson, Senior Advocacy Campaign Manager at The Trevor Project released this statement in response to the ordinance passing:

“I applaud the elected officials of Linn County in taking action to support LGBTQ youth, especially during the month of Pride. This would not be possible without the partnership of grassroots advocates, community leaders, and organizations like Iowa Safe Schools and One Iowa. This countywide ordinance is a victory to LGBTQ youth who now know they are supported and protected in the communities they call home from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.”

Violation of this provision in the ordinance carries a civil penalty of $750 in accordance with Iowa Code.

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