Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Iowa City Government May Ban Ex-Gay Therapy in 2017 // UPDATE: Iowa City Government Will NOT Ban Ex-Gay Therapy

(Originally written on 12/11/16): I just read that the Iowa City City Council plans to consider a local ban on ex-gay conversion therapy:
Following a letter from a University of Iowa student requesting a ban, city attorney Eleanor Dilkes said city code does not currently address the issue and she'd need to do further research to determine if state law would allow a local ban.

The Iowa Board of Psychology this summer rejected a petition seeking a statewide ban on the practice...

Mayor Jim Throgmorton says the council hasn’t discussed the topic and will need to talk about it at a work session before making any decisions. He says that discussion is likely to take place in January, though the council will have a heavy workload with budget discussions starting and the continued implementation of the city’s aggressive strategic plan.
The city council plans to begin initial discussion on this topic at its next work session, which is 01/03/17.

Updated on 01/04/17: Iowa City will not be banning ex-gay conversion therapy:
Mayor Jim Throgmorton wanted the council to discuss the issue after a University of Iowa student requested the city institute a ban.

Dilkes says it appears the state has decided to allow the practice within the state, saying the list of what is not allowed is very clear. The Iowa Board of Psychology last summer discussed the issue but decided to reject a petition seeking a statewide ban on the practice.

She says to then ban it at the local level "would be very problematic."
I've always found these bans to be problematic. Most reputable psychiatrists and therapists don't do them. And most religious-based ex-gay programs are exempt from these bans. Plus, there's something to do with patient choice -- no matter how flawed.

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