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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron Passes Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 10-24-2022

Akron, Ohio, Oct. 24, 2022 — Earlier today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan along with Council members Tara Mosley, Nancy Holland, Shammas Malik, and Sharon Connor submitted legislation to Akron City Council to ban conversion therapy for minors. Tonight, City Council approved the measure unanimously, making Akron the 11th city in Ohio to pass a similar ban. Conversion therapy, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a practice that is nearly universally shunned in the medical community and is particularly harmful to youth. Read the ordinance here.

“I’m incredibly proud to add Akron to the growing list of communities recognizing the harmful impacts of conversion therapy and taking a stand against the practice,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Akron has proven itself time and time again to be a welcoming, diverse place and taking this step is another way of making sure our community is inclusive of everyone. LGBTQ+ youth who are not supported for who they are, are more likely to attempt suicide, face homelessness, experience high levels of depression, and engage in high levels of substance use. I’m hopeful that this step sends a clear message to our LGBTQ+ youth that this City supports them for exactly who they are.”  

The ordinance will take effect immediately and makes it unlawful for any healthcare professional to knowingly engage in conversion therapy with a minor. The Akron Civil Rights Commission will have the authority to investigate and consider complaints of a violation of this chapter, and may create additional rules and procedures to receive, initiate, investigate, hold hearings, and issue orders and penalties on complaints alleging violations of this chapter. The Commission is appointed by Mayor Horrigan with approval from Akron City Council. It was established after Akron City Council passed non-discrimination legislation in 2017.

To file a complaint, visit

Several members of local, state, and national organizations spoke in support of the legislation during committee and at the City Council meeting this evening.

National Support:

“It is heartening to see the leaders of Akron come together to protect LGBTQ young people in their communities from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy.’ Research from The Trevor Project has found that LGBTQ youth who have been threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy report more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year than those who have not,” said Casey Pick, Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Progress like this is made possible by the work of community advocates, grassroots organizers, and supportive local leadership. We hope that Akron’s action helps spark leaders across Ohio to follow suit with statewide protections.”

State Support:

"We know that equality means passing protections like Akron has done today—and, as Barbara Gittings said, ‘equality is more than that.’ Equality is won by changing the hearts and minds of the community,” said Alana Jochum, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “Today, Akron has achieved both. We are proud of the great work this community has done alongside local government to protect its youth against an immoral, harmful practice. We look forward to a future where LGBTQ+ youth feel safe coming out here and across the entire state." 

Local Support:

“CANAPI’s staff and board thank Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Akron City Council for passing a ban on conversion therapy for minors here in Akron,” said Rebecca Callahan, Executive Director of CANAPI. “Here at CANAPI, we advocate for the notion that we all thrive when each and every person can live as their true and authentic self, which is why we support inclusive and fair public policy. We applaud all those elected officials who have supported these measures and encourage those cities who have not, to take a look at the statistics and get involved.”

Mayor Horrigan continued: “I want to thank the many individuals and organizations who spoke in favor of this legislation and provided their expert knowledge about the impact of conversion therapy on minors. I would like to especially acknowledge and thank the board of CANAPI who first brought this issue to my attention. This new ordinance is another step in the right direction for LGBTQ+ residents in our city.”

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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