Citizens of La Crosse Rally and Call on Mayor to Veto Ban on Conversion Therapy | national news

Some members of the La Crosse community are calling on Mayor Mitch Reynolds to veto the recent ban on conversion therapy approved by La Crosse City Council last week.

The group, led by former city council members Tom Sweeney and Lorraine Decker, sent a veto request to Reynolds on Monday, saying the ban on conversion therapy “would prohibit parents and legal guardians in La Crosse from choosing how advise their own children in private matters concerning sexuality.”

The coalition is also holding a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to further communicate its demand to oppose the ban. Reynolds has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to veto the order.

The veto request says the ban violates the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom to assemble and associate persons set forth in the United States Constitution.

“We believe this order renders illegal the constitutionally protected functions of religious entities and the practices of other counselors and therapists,” the letter states. “It basically targets people for their ideology and personal beliefs, and would certainly be challenged in court at the expense of the taxpayers of La Crosse.”

The current ordinance, passed by a 6-4 vote, bans conversion therapy, a practice that affects the LGBTQ+ community by attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The purpose of the ban, according to the ordinance, is to protect the residents of La Crosse, “particularly the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including non-binary, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, and to protect them from exposure to serious harm from conversion therapy.

As the ban was considered by La Crosse officials, many people spoke out in favor and in opposition to the ban.

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