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Racine bans ‘conversion therapy’

The Main Street Bridge in Racine, Wisconsin. (Photo by Richie Diesterheft, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

RACINE — Racine’s city council voted this week to ban “conversion therapy” within the city limits.

The (Racine) Journal-Times reported that the council voted for the ban in a vote of 11-3. The newspaper said that three alderman thought the ordinance was beyond the scope of the city council and rushed. A statewide bill was introduced in March.

There were of course objections. From the Journal-Times:

A group of more than a dozen people stood outside City Hall before the vote, holding up signs that read “Homosexuality is sin,” “Jesus Christ can set you free” and “But from the beginning of the Creation God made them male and female.” They stood mostly quietly and peacefully, and chatted with a few people walking past on the sidewalk.

The demonstrators came from different churches around the area and identified themselves as “concerned Christians.”

Reactions from passersby were mixed. One man, who smiled at the signholders while driving down Sixth Street, could be heard saying “That’s what I like to see.”

Another woman, riding in a car in the roundabout, loudly yelled a profanity at the demonstrators.

Several of the demonstrators felt that the ban was an infringement on parental rights and the freedom of speech.

Kevin Johnson, who lives in Caledonia, said: “They’re trying to silence Christians from talking to minors … who are looking to change gender and such.”

When asked about the general consensus from the psychological community that conversion therapy is harmful to youth, Johnson wrote that off as “mere opinion” from “so-called doctors.”

The newspaper said that 18 people spoke in favor of the ban during the public comment period of Tuesday’s meeting and 23 spoke against it. Each were given up to 3 minutes to speak.


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