Dear editor,

Throughout the United States and beyond, I work to create safe places for LGBTQ+ youth — and all LGBTQ+ persons — especially within the Catholic Church.

Through Diocese of Lexington Catholic LGBT Ministry and the national ministry, Fortunate Families, both of which I lead, I see firsthand the harm that is inflicted upon the dignity, hearts and will to live of my siblings who want nothing more than to be embraced with respect, compassion, sensitivity and acknowledged, rightfully, as wonderfully made children of God — their dignity defended, upheld and celebrated.

Torture therapy, despite being called by any other name that tries to soften its toxic effects, cries to heaven for vengeance. It offends God and those made in God’s image.

Kentucky does need conversion therapy! We need to convert every heart so every person can recognize the divine presence in every LGBTQ+ person. We need conversion — metanoia — to clearly see how inhumane this torturous “therapy” that destroys the dignity of the human person, kills the spirit and too often leads to death is.

Ban “conversion therapy” for our LGBTQ+ siblings. Instead, let us focus on our own need for personal conversion.

Stan “JR” Zerkowski

Director, Catholic Diocese of Lexington LGBT Ministry

Executive Director, Fortunate Families

Lexington

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