City council symbolically bans conversion therapy

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's capital city has passed a resolution banning the use of LGBTQ conversion therapy, however the ruling remains largely symbolic as recent bills seeking to ban the practice have repeatedly failed at the state level.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that on Monday the Richmond City Council unanimously voted to prohibit the practice in city limits. Conversion therapy is a discredited method of attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender expression, and is known to have harmful health risks.

But the nonbinding resolution can't override state laws that allow the practice, though the newspaper reports state boards that regulate mental health professionals have prohibited it, as has the American Psychological Association.

Advocacy groups say 18 states have enacted laws banning or restricting conversion therapy, but none are in the South.

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