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Conversion therapy ban draws opposition

The religious community in St. Joseph butted heads with the Human Rights Committee Tuesday night at city hall.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 10:55 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The religious community in St. Joseph butted heads with the Human Rights Committee Tuesday night at city hall.

The commission is taking a second look at a recommendation they made to ban conversion therapy in the city for minors at the direction of the city council.

The vice chair of the committee says they hope to reduce abuse and ultimate suicides that he says too often comes with the practice and that many medical associations around the world have renounced the practice.

However, several local religious leaders addressed the committee saying they feel the ban would impose on their religious freedoms.

"I was here to say I would like for them to please stop trying to get a hammer, to be able to hammer the churches and let us have our freedom of religion,” David Mason said.

"They felt that there was an adversarial relationship between the human rights commission and the religious community in town and nothing could be further from the truth," Michael Jasper, vice chair of the Human Rights Committee said.

The vice chair says several members on the committee including himself are also devout in their faith.

If St. Joseph were to approve the ban, the city would be the fourth in the state of Missouri to do so behind Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia.

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More hot and humid weather on the way for today with highs back in the upper 90s with some areas reaching triple digits. Use caution when spending time outside because heat index values will once again be in the triple digits for many. A cold front will start to approach our area tonight and stall to our north giving us a few chances for showers and thunderstorms overnight, however this activity will not be widespread. Temperatures will still be above average this weekend with highs in the 90s. A few lingering rain chances will continue this weekend, but much of the weekend will be dry. The cold front will move through the area early next week giving us some much cooler temperatures. High will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
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