Minnesota is poised to be the next state to ban conversion therapy for minors. The state’s House of Representatives passed H.F. 12 last week, which would ban the practice. Next, the Minnesota state Senate will consider the bill. If passed there, it could head to governor’s desk for signature and passage into law.
2019 seems to be the year when many states are getting their act together when it comes to banning conversion therapy, the harmful and discredited practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The most recent state to ban conversion therapy was Colorado, and the governor there is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming months.
Although the majority of states still allow the practice, there is no credible evidence that conversion therapy works. Research shows that its negative effects can be profound: depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and homelessness. The American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association all reject conversion therapy as a valid medical practice.
“All children deserve to live authentically and free from fear of this dangerous and discredited practice with potentially life-threatening consequences,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse in a statement. “We thank the Minnesota House of Representatives for taking action on this issue and urge the state Senate to pass this measure and join the growing number of states and municipalities that protect LGBTQ youth from abusive ‘conversion therapy.”
“Thousands of Minnesotans have worked so hard over the last few months to stop the torturous practice known as conversion ‘therapy’ and today, during OutFront’s LGBTQ Lobby Day, the Minnesota House sent a strong message of support for LGBTQ Minnesotans by including the Mental Health Protections Act (H.F. 12) in the Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus bill,” Monica Meyer, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota told the HRC. “We could not be more proud of every single LGBTQ and Allied person who made this possible.”