In the debate on the Senate floor Thursday, Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) moved to bring legislation to the floor prohibiting the barbaric practice of conversion therapy in Minnesota. The motion bringing his legislation, SF 1871, to the floor received enough support to pass under normal circumstances, but Senate Republicans chose to hide behind procedural games instead of advancing the measure. While it received a 34-31 majority vote, it fell seven votes short of the 41 needed to advance the discussion.
“Young people throughout our state are experiencing unprecedented mental health crises, and as policymakers, we must meet this moment and take urgent action to address this crisis and support our youth. One of the most essential steps in addressing it is to finally ban the barbaric practice of conversion therapy, a disproven, dehumanizing, and harmful torture that has been proven to increase rates of mental health distress and suicide in young Minnesotans,” said Senator Dibble. “I have requested numerous hearings over the last two years, and my colleagues have attempted to amend it onto bills during this session, and it has been blocked. Despite our efforts, my colleagues in the majority blocked it again. If the mental health of our youth is a bipartisan priority, I urge my colleagues in the Senate majority to drop their obstruction, and recognize that our LGTBQ youth need our help to finally end this practice.”
Currently, eight cities in Minnesota have banned the practice of conversion therapy, and 24 states have banned the practice of conversion therapy either through legislation or executive order. While Governor Walz has issued an executive order banning state agencies from cooperating with the practice and makes efforts to educate about the harm it causes, it is only an indirect and temporary measure.