Lawrence council defers vote on banning conversion therapy

Local

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence City Commission members decided to delay a vote on banning conversion therapy for minors after questions arose about how it would affect counseling provided by religious organizations.

The commission was scheduled to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would ban therapy aimed at changing a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The ordinance currently contains a clause providing an exception for clergy. City legal staff said the exception was added to avoid legal challenges based on religious freedom.

However, the city heard from two religious leaders who said the ordinance could stop religious schools from offering counseling on the subject, and that it was overly broad.

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