Lincoln becomes 1st Nebraska city to ban conversion therapy

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln City Council has approved a measure banning the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children — making Lincoln the first city in the state to do so.

The City Council voted 5-1 Monday to ban the practice, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. It bars counselors, psychiatrists and therapists from seeking to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor.

Professional associations have condemned the therapy over concerns it damages the mental health of children and can lead to high incidences of suicide.

Opponents argued at a recent public hearing on the ban that it would unconstitutionally restrict speech in Lincoln and could be struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional.

Councilman Roy Christensen cast the lone vote against the measure, saying he questions whether the city should interfere with a profession that is governed by state licensing boards.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird applauded the council’s vote, saying she was “heartened by the council’s action this evening to protect the safety and health of youth in our community.”