Louisville Bans Conversion Therapy

Louisville, Kentucky, Leaders Vote to Ban Harmful Conversion Therapy

Louisville Bans Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy survivors cheered Thursday night as Louisville Metro Council voted __ to approve an ordinance banning conversion therapy.

Kentucky’s largest city became the second city in Kentucky, after Covington, to ban the harmful practice. The ordinance prohibits licensed mental-health providers from using sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts with minors. It also prevents provision of public funds to any entity that provides “conversion therapy” to a minor.

Separate bipartisan legislation is pending to ban conversion therapy statewide.

During committee proceedings last week, Councilman Bill Hollander said the ban was necessary because conversion therapy causes increased rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. “In this National Suicide Prevention Month, surely we can agree to join states and cities across the country in banning a practice that doesn’t work and leads to higher suicide rates for children,” Hollander said.

The campaign to ban conversion therapy was led by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Fairness Campaign, and the survivor-led group Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky (BCTK). BCTK in particular has achieved phenomenal success in uniting conservative Kentuckians in support of protecting LGBTQ youth.

Kentucky Survivors Show Leadership

Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky staff and supporters
Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky staff and supporters

“We are encouraged that Kentucky’s largest and most diverse city stepped up in a bipartisan way to protect Kentucky’s kids, said Tanner Mobley, executive director of BCTK. “It is our hope, a hope shared by thousands of Kentuckians from every corner and holler in our state, that our state legislature will do the same in passing the Youth Mental Health Protection Act during the 2021 Session and protect every Kentucky family by finally putting an end to these torturous and fraudulent practices for good.”

State Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, a Republican from Fayette, is the primary sponsor of the state senate bill. Kerr said, “In my Christian faith, I am taught that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderfully made, and I believe that very strongly. Pro-life means doing everything I can to protect our youth from suicide and from being rejected and being taught that they are not good enough. I’m inspired by this win in Louisville and feel hopeful that we can ban these torturous practices state-wide in 2021.”

“With so much strife in our community, so much pain in our city, tonight our Metro Council took a bold step toward love and compassion by banning the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy.’ This move by Kentucky’s largest and most diverse city is an important step toward a much-needed state-wide ban to protect young people across the Commonwealth,” stated Rep. Lisa Willner, D-Jefferson.

Youth Deserve Protection

Louisville councilman-elect Jecorey Arthur also spoke in support of the bill via Instagram.

“We need to ban conversion therapy,” Arthur said. “And today Louisville Metro Council is voting to do just that…Louisville needs to catch up. Because our youth not only deserve to live. But they deserve to be, and be with, who they love.”

Survivors Offer Support from Across the Nation

“We’re grateful to the Louisville Metro Council,” said Mathew Shurka, conversion therapy survivor and co-founder of Born Perfect, the national survivor-led campaign to ban conversion therapy. “Their vote sends a powerful message to every child that they are born perfect.” Shurka reflected on the experiences of survivors which have necessitated such bans.

“As a survivor of conversion therapy, I know first-hand that attempts by a therapist to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity result in serious, lasting harms. Like many other young people, I believed the professional therapists who told me I could change my sexual orientation and become straight. But after five years of doing everything I could to change, I was plunged into depression and despair upon realizing that these ‘therapies’ were bogus and that I could not change.”

Recovery from Conversion Therapy Can Take Years

“I will never be able to recover the time that I spent in this bogus therapy,” Shurka said. “It prevented me for years from living as my true self and robbed me of years that I will never regain. Conversion therapy also nearly destroyed my family. It drove a wedge between me and my parents and siblings, based on my therapists’ false assertion that being gay is caused by problems or deficiencies in parenting.”

There is absolutely no scientific basis for that assertion, which underlies almost all conversion therapy.

“The Louisville Metro Council is showing much-needed courage and leadership in standing up for LGBTQ youth. Hate-based groups in Northern Kentucky have waged vicious attacks and promoted dangerous lies and misinformation about LGBTQ people,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which provides legal support to U.S. states and cities in implementing and defending conversion therapy bans. “Contrary to the false messages of these groups, being LGBTQ is a natural part of the spectrum of human identity. All children deserve love and support, not shame, and Louisville is doing the right thing in protecting people from so-called ‘conversion therapy.’”  


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Equality Australia

Australia’s Capital City Bans Conversion Therapy

Equality Australia
Equality Australia

The Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly voted Aug. 27 to ban conversion therapy.

The legislation was based on a 2018 report by LaTrobe University which interviewed 15 survivors of conversion therapy. At least 10 organizations in Australia and New Zealand were advertising their practice of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy survivor Chris Csabs recalled his church-based therapy in Canberra. “We are cautiously optimistic about the legislation, it’s got a lot of positive points to it. It affirms that LGBTQIA+ people are not disordered.”

The territory’s attorney general, Gordon Ramsay, is also a Christian minister.

“I have led congregations and communities of faith where people have sought refuge after being subjected to conversion therapies that have been done in the name of the church and even at times in the name of God,” Ramsay told the Assembly. “There is an insidious and clandestine manner in which these practices are carried out, mostly against children,” he said.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Parliament Hill, Ottawa (Credit: Shutterstock)

Mayor Asks Ottawa City Council to Denounce Conversion Therapy

Parliament Hill, Ottawa (Credit: Shutterstock)
Parliament Hill, Ottawa (Credit: Shutterstock)

Ottawa, Ontario, Mayor Jim Watson has asked the city council to denounce conversion therapy and demand federal reintroduction of a bill banning the practice nationwide.

The mayor’s motion is expected to be debated in early September, according to CBC News.

If the mayor’s motion is passed, Watson will write to the prime minister and attorney general, asking that Bill C-8, which would amend the federal Criminal Code to outlaw conversion therapy, be reintroduced to Parliament.

No Conversion Canada is leading efforts to ban conversion therapy across Canada.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Anthony Quintal (Lohanthony)

YouTube Star Lohanthony Denies Supporting Conversion Therapy

YouTube celebrity and LGBTQ youth role model Anthony Quintal publicly renounced his sexual orientation last week, in a 41-minute video. Quintal, better known as Lohanthony, espoused “Christian celibacy” and denounced the “immorality” of his intimate relationships. He claimed to have suffered numerous addictions — and seemed to conflate his addiction with his sexual orientation. In a subsequent video, Quintal denies supporting conversion therapy.

“While these videos may be hard for any LGBTQ+ person to watch, especially for those of us who are survivors of conversion therapy, we’re happy to see that Anthony clearly condemns conversion therapy. That is especially important for his younger followers,” said Born Perfect co-founder Mathew Shurka.

Nevertheless, much of what Quintal is saying is based on the same misconceptions by conversion therapy.

“For example,” Shurka said, “calling same-sex attraction or being LGBTQ a form of addiction is one of the most common tactics used by conversion therapist, even though it has absolutely no truth or validity whatsoever. Conversion therapists also perpetuate the myth that same sex attraction leads to suicidal ideation, while the reality is that suicidality is fueled by discrimination and internalized stigma. We know today that family acceptance is the most vital component to the livelihood and health of any LGBT person.”

A 2018 study by the Family Acceptance Project showed that rates of suicide attempts doubled for LGBTQ youth whose parents try to change them.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Rev. Bob Browning

Baptist Pastor Vows to Support LGBTQ Youth

Rev. Bob Browning
Rev. Bob Browning

During an informational hearing for the proposed conversion-therapy ban in Kentucky, Bob Browning, a Baptist pastor, appealed to conversion therapy’s supporters to listen to survivors and their families, recognize the terrible harms that are caused by this practice, and support LGBTQ youth:

“I truly wish we were further down the road than we are for the sake of those who feel misunderstood and are suffering in silence because they also feel unloved. Instead of talking today about changing someone’s sexual orientation, I wish we were discussing what people who are not heterosexual need from society.

But we are not this far down the road in our state. We must start where we are, which is what I believe supporting Senate Bill 85 does. It sends a message to our gay and lesbian family members and friends that their voices will no longer be ignored.”

Browning’s pastoral viewpoint is well worth sharing with Christian family and friends.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Socially distanced survivors and advocates listen to testimony during Kentucky informational hearing to ban conversion therapy (Credit: Mathew Shurka)

Kentucky Hearing on Conversion-Therapy Ban Reflects Strong Conservative Support

Socially distanced survivors and advocates listen to testimony during Kentucky informational hearing to ban conversion therapy (Credit: Mathew Shurka)
Socially distanced survivors and advocates listen to testimony during Kentucky informational hearing to ban conversion therapy (Credit: Mathew Shurka)

Legislation to ban conversion therapy for minors in Kentucky got its first hearing Aug. 25, as the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations heard strong support for a ban from Republicans as well as Democrats.

Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, a Republican, shared that she was inspired to protect youth from conversion therapy after watching the movie Boy Erased. She said well-intentioned people were misguided to support the practice and urged other legislators to learn more about the real harms caused by conversion therapy. “People who are subjected to this kind of torture are seven times more likely to commit suicide,” she said.

Read more from WTVQ-TV


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).