KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Starting tonight, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. will light the downtown Jackson County Courthouse in rainbow colors in support of the most comprehensive and enforceable conversion therapy ban. The original legislation that the Jackson County Legislature failed to pass last week has now been re-introduced and will be considered at the legislative meeting tomorrow, Monday, March 27. County Executive White has issued the following statement:

“As County Executive I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure that Jackson County is a safe and welcoming community for everyone – regardless of where you are from, the color of your skin or who you love. While I was surprised and disappointed by our County Legislature’s failure to pass a simple conversion therapy ban last week, I remain confident that can Jackson County rise above this setback, right the wrong, and send a loud and clear message that Jackson County is a safe space for all by passing this common-sense legislation.

“I am in full support of the original legislation sponsored by Legislator Jalen Anderson that would ban conversion therapy for minors in Jackson County. The legislation, now titled “Ordinance 5726,” has been thoroughly discussed, debated and received approval by a bipartisan majority of the County Legislature last week. It is simply the only ordinance that, if passed, would both protect LGBTQ+ youth in our community and provide a clear path for accountability. The competing legislation will only delay enactment of a conversion therapy ban while also making it harder, if not impossible, to enforce and provide a potential path for abusers to sue the county should they claim they were not properly notified about the law. These seemingly benign changes to the original legislation are dangerous and we cannot afford to get this wrong again.

“Our LGBTQ+ youth deserve to know they are loved and valued. I encourage anyone who cares about protecting children to show up at the legislative meetings and advocate for Ordinance 5726. As a show of my commitment, I will be lighting the downtown courthouse in rainbow colors tonight. The lighting will remain, at least, until the Legislature passes Ordinance 5726 and I officially sign it into law.”