DFL Members were joined by advocates, faith leaders, mental health professionals, and survivors this week for a powerful press conference announcing legislation to protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Minnesotans from the harmful effects of conversion therapy. Discredited by every major medical organization in the United States, conversion therapy includes a variety of dangerous practices geared toward changing a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and puts LQBTQ youth and adults at risk of long-term consequences such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
The Mental Health Protections Act would protect Minnesotans from being coerced into this ineffective and harmful treatment, prevent parents from being deceived by the conversion therapy industry, and ensure that LGBTQ people have access to affirming, ethical, and culturally competent mental health care in the state. This bill does not threaten religious or individual prayer practices and its restrictions only apply for paid services rendered.
The legislation drew over 75 supporters to the capitol this week, and OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LBGTQ advocacy organization, delivered over 500 Valentines cards from concerned Minnesotans urging their legislators to support protections for members of the queer and trans community by passing the Mental Health Protections Act. Passing this bill would make Minnesota the 16th state to protect LGBTQ people from sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), illustrating Minnesota’s commitment to the highest standard of healthcare for all residents. (SF 83)