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Local law unveiled to ban conversion therapy

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Applauds Ordinance in Allentown, PA

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Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center applauds the introduction of the Appropriate Mental Health Services Ordinance at a recent Allentown City Council meeting.

A press release from the center stated the ordinance, once passed, will protect LGBT youth in the City of Allentown from the harmful and unscientific practice referred to as "Conversion Therapy".

The ordinance was introduced with six members of council and the administration joining as co-sponsors. Council members cosponsoring the ordinance are Candida Affa, Julio Guridy, Council Vice President Daryl Hendricks, Council President Ray O'Connell, David McGuire, and Cynthia Mota. The bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole.

If passed, Allentown will become the second municipality in Pennsylvania, following the City of Pittsburgh, to ban conversion therapy.

Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, is leading the community organizing effort in support of this ordinance. He stated: "It's an affirming moment for LGBT youth in the City of Allentown with the introduction of tonight's ordinance which will ensure that licensed mental health professionals are only providing appropriate mental health services for LGBT youth in our community. The broad support from Council and the Mayor sends a strong message that Allentown is an inclusive city where LGBT youth are free to be their true selves."

"The American Psychological Association has linked conversion therapy to depression, substance abuse and even suicide, and these risks are particularly acute for youth," said National Center for Lesbian Rights Youth Policy Counsel and Born Perfect Campaign Coordinator Carolyn Reyes. "Today, we are proud to stand with Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in support of the introduction of an ordinance to protect and improve the lives of our LGBTQ youth.”

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides arts & culture, health promotion, and youth programs as well as supportive services to strengthen and support the LGBT community across the Greater Lehigh Valley.