In a first for Kentucky, a legislative committee will consider a ban on conversion therapy at an informational hearing Aug. 25, when survivors, LGBTQ-affirming clergy, and a bipartisan array of allies make their case to the state legislature’s Interim Joint Licensing and Occupations Committee. Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky is leading the educational campaign, with help from state and national organizations and Born Perfect.
The remarkable success of the Kentucky campaign is a testament to the growing bipartisan support for protecting youth from these harmful practices. In this polarized political era, the national campaign to stop this public health crisis is not only the single most successful legislative effort in the LGBTQ movement, but one of the few bright spots showing that politicians on different sides of the aisle can still come together to address important social problems.
The two pending bills in Kentucky would protect minors from nearly 70 known licensed therapists who practice conversion therapy in the state. The bills are sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lisa Willner and conservative Christian Republican Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, and supported by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. The legislation would ban conversion therapy by licensed health care providers against children and also against certain adults who are mentally or physically impaired. The ban also would prohibit public funding for conversion therapy.
Born Perfect is a survivor-led program created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country that protect LGBTQ children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices. https://bornperfect.org