Senator Dibble Reacts to the Failed Vote on the Conversion Therapy Ban Amendment
ST. PAUL, Minn – Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) offered an amendment to the omnibus health and human service budget bill that should have had strong bipartisan support. The amendment was to ban the use of so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ children and youth in Minnesota. There is broad consensus in the medical and professional community that conversion therapy is unethical and completely ineffective, plus it’s incredibly dangerous.
“Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disorder, nor a mental illness,” said Sen. Scott Dibble. “The science has been settled on that for a long time. Conversion therapy is not an accepted medical practice. It is a discredited falsehood. It’s utilization leaves victims anxious, depressed, with low self-esteem, and vulnerable to chemical abuse and suicide.”
Despite impassioned debate, Senate DFLers were not joined by a single Senate Republican in voting for the amendment, and it failed on a 30-34 vote.
“I think it’s a shame that the message was given and received that should this amendment go on the omnibus bill, it would have caused a sufficient number of members to vote against it. Members who knew in good conscience that this would be the right thing to do for the LGBTQ+ youth of Minnesota, voted against the amendment so that the full bill would pass. Now, young people in our state may be left twisting in pain and continue to suffer.”
Senator Dibble was forced to offer this an amendment to the omnibus health and human services budget bill because his authored bill [SF 83] on this subject was never heard in committee, like many bills this session under the Senate Republican majority.
Since the vote, Senator Dibble has heard that there may be an effort to ensure inclusion of conversion ban therapy language in the conference committee. Given that similar bills have passed on a bipartisan basis in other states, Senator Dibble welcomes the opportunity to work with members of the Republican Party on fashioning an honest policy that makes a tangible difference in putting an end to this discredited, outdated and harmful practice and doesn’t merely accommodate the sensitivities of opponents of the legislation.