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Polk supervisors pass resolution calling for state ban on conversion therapy


The Polk County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to urge the Iowa Legislature to ban the practice of conversion therapy and protect LGBTQ youths. Iowa Safe Schools partnered with Supervisor Matt McCoy, an LGBTQ advocate, to support the resolution, which is being sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa legislative leadership and all legislators who represent Polk County. While 20 other states have ended the practice of conversion therapy, Iowa is not among them, Iowa Safe Schools said in a news release. According to the American Psychiatric Association, risks of conversion therapy include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior. Instances of conversion therapy can include emotional abuse, electric shock and forced vomiting. According to a 2020 study by the Trevor Project, 10% of all LGBTQ youths are victimized by conversion therapy. “We are thrilled to be taking a step in the right direction,” said Becky Ritland, interim executive director for Iowa Safe Schools. “Now more than ever, the needs of LGBTQ youth must be recognized and supported. Conversion therapy is a barbaric practice that doesn’t align with Iowa values.”

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