Davenport bans ‘conversion therapy’ in final vote

Davenport, Iowa (Public domain photo)

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Davenport City Council voted 8-2 on Wednesday to ban ‘conversion therapy.’

The first vote, which passed unanimously as a consent agenda item, was on April 9.

The Rock Island Dispatch-Argus reported that the ordinance has been discussed by council for more than a month. In March, Mayor Mike Matson read communications from dozens of Davenport residents who supported the ordinance.

The ban on conversion therapy prohibits providers from advertising or performing ‘conversion therapy.’ The ban grants subject matter jurisdiction to the Davenport Civil Rights Commission and protects children exposed to ‘conversion therapy’ by extending the time frame with which complaints may be made to one year beyond their eighteenth birthday.

The newspaper said that before the Wednesday vote, more opposition to the ordinance had formed. Matson and council members read communications from local residents who opposed the ordinance or wanted more time for public input.

There was a council push to delay the vote for two weeks, defeated when the mayor cast a tie breaking vote.

According to the Dispatch-Argus, most of the opposition was on religious grounds.