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'It's happening in our state,' Ban on conversion therapy to be addressed in Green Bay

A local alderman says he's pushing for the city to ban conversion therapy in Green Bay
Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 11, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — A local alderman says he's pushing for the city to ban conversion therapy in Green Bay — a controversial practice that seeks to change people's gender and sexual identities.

  • 7th District alderperson Randy Scannell says the proposed ban would prevent conversion therapy practices across the city
  • According to the Trevor Project, conversion therapy has been linked to increases in depression, suicide
  • The proposed ban will be addressed at Monday's Protection and Policy Committee meeting

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story).

"I should hope that everybody can get behind this," 7th District Alderperson, Randy Scannell said.

Scannell sits on the Projection and Policy Committee and says Green Bay shouldn't have to worry about this issue.

"It is happening in our state so it could very easily happen here and we certainly want to be ahead of that curve," Scannell said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, "reparative" or "conversion" therapy is a dangerous practice that targets LGBTQ youth and seeks to change their sexual or gender identities.

Scannell spoke with NBC26 back in 2022 about banning conversion therapy in Green Bay after La Crosse became the 14th city to do so in the state.

Appleton and Sheboygan have also banned the practice.

Scannell said he planned to bring it up earlier, but the pandemic struck and the issue got pushed aside.

He said he was inspired to bring it up again after attending a recent forum at UWGB.

"I discovered much to my horror that this is being practiced in the state of Wisconsin," Scannell said. "I’d rather be proactive than reactive."

LGBTQ advocacy group, The Trevor Project, said in 2021, more than half a million youth in the U.S. were still being subjected to conversion therapy.

"Every ordinance establishes a city's values, so it think this really establishes that," Scannell said.

Scannell said even if his proposal isn't sent to staff or approved at committee level in tonight's committee meeting, he can still bring it up at the city council meeting on March 19 for official approval.