Richmond City Council

The Richmond City Council is shown during a meeting in August 2019.

The Richmond City Council on Monday condemned the use of "conversion therapy" in the city limits and across the state.

The council unanimously endorsed a nonbinding resolution banning the practice, a discredited method of attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of a person. The practice has resulted in harmful mental health outcomes among LGBTQ individuals, and has been a cause of drug addiction, homelessness and suicide among people who have experienced it.

Three state boards that regulate mental health professionals banned the practice earlier this year, but it remains legal in Virginia. Bills seeking to ban conversion therapy have failed in the Virginia General Assembly in recent years.

Mayor Levar Stoney, who proposed the resolution, commended the council’s vote.

“I am proud that members of Richmond’s City Council joined me in opposing the inhumane and regressive practice of conversion therapy and affirming the sexual orientation and identities of all Richmonders,” Stoney said in a statement.

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