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Several Lawmakers Back Bill That Would Ban Conversion Therapy For Minors in Ohio

photo of mary lightbody
Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville)

A bipartisan bill would ban Ohio children younger than 18 years old from participating in so-called conversion therapy, the practice of trying to convert someone from gay to straight. 

Several Ohio cities have banned the controversial practice of conversion therapy. Democratic Rep. Mary Lightbody says there’s a good reason to keep kids away from it.

“It’s amazing that this antiquated and outdated and scientifically flawed technique is even still in use today because it does not work, and it does nothing but harm our young people who know themselves to be gay or lesbian,” she said.

Lightbody also said medical experts agree conversion therapy is harmful for kids.

Mary Lightbody talks about what some medical associations think about conversion therapy.

“We have people from the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, a social worker’s association, all saying that this is not appropriate work for people in their fields to be doing, engaging with young people under the age of 18,” she said.

More than 20 Democrats and two Republican lawmakers have signed onto the bill. And Lightbody says she thinks more are likely to come on board as the bill progresses through the legislative process. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.