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Milwaukee Becomes First City of Wisconsin to Protect LGBTQ Youth From Horrors of Conversion Therapy

BY: Kinzi Sparks
3 LGBTQ youth embracing facing the sky with sun and clouds


Today The City of Milwaukee passed a critical ordinance with protections for LGBTQ youth from the barbaric practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists falsely claim be able to change LGBTQ youth into straight and cisgender youth. Prominent professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among numerous others—oppose the use of conversion therapy on youth, calling the practice harmful and ineffective.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state and was proud to submit testimony with our partners such as the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center on the critical need to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills in 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to ban the practice in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced in 34 states.

New research by The Williams Institute shows that there are an estimated 20,000 LGBT youth in the U.S. ages 13 to 17 who will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before the age of 18. Also, approximately 57,000 youth will undergo the treatment from a religious or spiritual advisor. Researchers also found that approximately 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives, including about 350,000 who received it as adolescents.

“Milwaukee is the largest city in my home state of Wisconsin, and to see their stance on this issue is critical to the well-being of youth in the state.” said Coltan James, a student activist with The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign. “I hope this is a catalyst where more and more Wisconsin cities tell us “you can’t change things that aren’t wrong with you.”

“From Alderman Cavalier Johnsons sponsorship and eloquent articulation on this important nature of the ordinance to Alderman and Council President Ashanti Hamilton’s leadership, this was a great testament to the City of Milwaukee’s dedication to protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for the The Trevor Project.

This ordinance will not limit the freedom to practice a person’s faith as some have suggested and as Alderwoman Chantia Lewis said “If our work as pastors results in suicide, we as Christians have not done our jobs.” Thank you to the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee for doing their job to protect every citizen including LGBTQ youth.

“It was a heartfelt victory for our children.” said Tony Snell Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at via chat, or by texting to .


Kevin Wong
Vice President of Communications
212.695.8650 x407
[email protected]

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