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ST. LOUIS – Therapists would be barred from trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors in St. Louis under legislation that an aldermanic committee has advanced.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the legislation was passed out of the committee Wednesday after voices on both sides of the issue made impassioned pleas. The bill now goes to the full Board of Aldermen.

Backers note that the American Psychological Association opposes so-called gay conversion therapy, saying it doesn’t work and can cause harm. Opponents, however, say that such therapy can help some people and that the bill is an attack on free speech.

The committee’s vote comes one week after a similar measure advanced out of a Kansas City council committee. And the college town of Columbia banned the practice last month.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,