Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski signed an ordinance today prohibiting licensed professionals from engaging in counseling, practices or treatments that seek to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure was signed before a crowd of about 20 persons at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in the city.
City Council unanimously passed the ordinance last night. Allentown joins Pittsburgh as the only other city in Pennsylvania with a signed ordinance and one of just 20 in the country.
The penalty for violation of the ordinance is revocation of the licensee’s business license, after notice and hearing. A five member Appropriate Mental Health Services Appeals Board will be established to hold hearings to review all appeals of the revocation of a business license.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association Council of Scientific Affairs, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association Governing Council, the American School Counselor Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association have each asserted in reports or position statements that sexual orientation change efforts, including reparative therapy or conversion therapy, are not recommended and may be harmful.