Iowa Senate Considering Ban on LGBT Conversion Therapy

Feb 23, 2015

So-called conversion therapy seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian youth.

On this News Buzz edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Senator Matt McCoy (D), author of legislation that would ban conversion therapy in Iowa.

"It is highly, highly ineffective, and we know of no cases where this conversion therapy has actually worked," says Sen. McCoy. "But we see the remnants of it in therapy offices all across the country, where individuals, that have been damaged badly as a result of this therapy, have to seek assistance to get on with their life."

It is highly, highly ineffective, and we know of no cases where this conversion therapy has actually worked. - Sen. McCoy

Sen. McCoy spoke of a friend of Iowa Now's Donna Red Wing, who was institutionalized and placed on low-impact shock therapy.

"It has been a very damaging process for their family, and they continue to work with that issue today."

If the bill gets signed into law, Iowa would become the third state in the nation to ban conversion therapy techniques via state-licensed mental health professionals.

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Other segments on the week's News Buzz program include:

Andrew Logue, sports reporter at The Des Moines Register, gives an Iowa collegiate basketball update.

Rory Fisher describes new research on treatment for alcoholism. He's a professor of pharmacology and professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Alan Heisterkamp provides perspective on a bystander assault that occurred in Ames. Heisterkamp is the director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Leadership Institute at the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa.

The parks superintendent for the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, Daniel Gibbins, shares why you may see dead crows in treetops in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Todd Fagan, City Arborist for the City Of Cedar Rapids, talks about how the city is preparing for the Emerald Ash Borer.

Jim Offner, business editor at The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, discusses a Rock Island Clean Line conflict, where rural residents are at odds with a massive electrical project.