Courthouse in downtown Kansas City to light up in rainbow colors. Here’s why

·2 min read
File/The Kansas City Star

The Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City will light up in rainbow colors beginning Sunday night in support of a ban on conversion therapy for minors, according to a news release.

County Executive Frank White Jr. announced the show of support in response to the county legislature failing to pass the bank last week. The measure has been re-introduced and will be considered at the legislative meeting at 3 p.m. Monday.

“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,” White said in the news release.

Conversion therapy is the discredited practice that seeks to “convert” people to a heterosexual lifestyle or traditional gender roles. The ordinance failed last week after it received five of the six votes needed to pass. Three legislators abstained and Legislator Sean Smith voted no.

White said he supported the original legislation that would ban conversion therapy for minors in the county.

“It is simply the only ordinance that, if passed, would both protect LGBTQ+ youth in our community and provide a clear path for accountability,” White said.

The legislation is now titled “Ordinance 5726.” There’s also competing legislation, titled “Ordinance 5728” on the meeting’s agenda as well.

“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,” White said. “These seemingly benign changes to the original legislation are dangerous and we cannot afford to get this wrong again.”

Saying that the county’s LGBTQ+ youth deserve to know they are loved and valued, White indicated that the rainbow lighting will continue until the ban passes and it is signed into law.