Lakewood councilman proposes city-wide ban on gay conversion therapy

LAKEWOOD --  Lakewood is considering legislation that would ban 'gay conversion' therapy. Recently, a local councilman proposed an ordinance that would make it a criminal act and anyone who practiced it would be penalized.

Lakewood’s proposed ban on gay conversion therapy was the talk around dinner at the newly-opened Dinner Bar on Clifton Wednesday night.

“It should be banned, any legislation that would get ahead of it I definitely support,” said Kate Foley, resident.

“We have had some really horrific stories come out in Ohio, where kids have had to go through conversion therapy,” said Ward 4 Councilman Dan O’Malley.

O’Malley introduced the ordinance that would ban the practice of gay conversion therapy within city limits on Monday.

“Every mainstream pediatric, medical, and psychological association has come out and said not only is this in-effective, it’s harmful. The Ohio Psychological Association has called on lawmakers to enact bans,” added O’Malley.

If approved, the councilman says Lakewood would join other cities in Ohio like Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo.

“It definitely should have been done a long time ago, but it’s great that it’s finally happening. No one should go through that especially at such a young age,” said Teya Eshlan, resident.

According to Councilman O’Malley, the ban falls right in place with the city’s non-discrimination ordinance that passed in 2016.

A hearing is scheduled for October 8 and Lakewood City Council could vote on the ordinance as early as October 15.