Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order yesterday banning conversion therapy, in his state.
Walz said after signing the order,
“I would say Minnesota is a little more welcoming and a little more joyous today because of the work that everyone’s done.”
Legislation banning the practice passed the state’s Democrat-controlled House in 2019, but in the Republican-controlled state Senate it stalled. It is adjourned until January 2022. (Really? What are they doing for 6 months…?)
Walz said that he ultimately decided to make the change via executive order, which can be easily undone by subsequent administrations, because waiting for legislation to pass was actively harming children. The order prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding conversion therapy and prohibits health care providers from covering it.
“This was really hard on all of us. I felt like … every day you wait might send another child through this.”
State Sen. Scott Dibble, an openly gay Minneapolis Democrat, has been a leading proponent of the ban, citing in part his own experience growing up
“with the very unmistakable message that who and what I was was bad, sinful, socially undesirable.”
On Thursday, Dibble addressed
“all the young Minnesotans who feel isolated, lonely, despairing, may be feeling afraid because of what they hear coming from powerful people.
You are perfect.”
The American Psychological Association says the “therapies” have the potential to inflict serious harm on young people because they position same-sex attraction as a mental disorder, and often a moral failure. For some, the pressure can lead to depression, substance abuse and self-harm.