ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Wednesday, a bill to prohibit the barbaric practice of conversion “therapy” in Minnesota received its first hearing in the Health and Human Services Committee. Chief author Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) testified in support of the bill.
“Today marks a giant step in the right direction to affirm that being LGBTQ+ is normal, healthy, and natural,” said Senator Dibble. “Conversion therapy is a harmful and discredited barbaric practice that needs to be banned. The medical and scientific community has been clear that individuals deserve to be affirmed and supported for who they are. By banning the practice, we show LGBTQ+ Minnesotans that they are loved and valued.”
The proposed legislation would ban the practice by licensed practitioners for those under 18 and vulnerable adults. It would also prevent fraudulent or deceptive advertising practices, including guarantees of changing sexual orientation or gender identity, and representation of homosexuality as a mental disease, disorder, or illness.
Currently, 11 cities across the state have an ordinance prohibiting conversion “therapy”, and over 20 states have banned the practice of conversion therapy through legislation. While Governor Walz issued an executive order banning state agencies from cooperating with the practice, it is only an indirect and temporary measure.
SF 23 received approval on a voice vote and now moves to the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.