A Minnesota House panel Wednesday approved a bill that would ban conversion therapy, also known as restorative therapy, for children in the state.
That form of counseling is designed to change a gay person’s sexual orientation or “cure” someone of being attracted to someone of the same gender. The issue returned to the national spotlight after the release of the motion picture “Boy Erased” last year.
The House legislation, authored by Democrat Rep. Hunter Cantrell of Savage, would also require licensed therapists and counselors to warn adults seeking such treatment that it has been discredited by every major medical organization as ineffective.
It wouldn’t apply to free counseling offered by churches and clergy.
“We will not tolerate in our state any longer discredited, harmful and unscientific practices that harm children, vulnerable people or any patient,” Rep. Cantrell told reporters.
Earlier in the day, a coalition led by Outfront Minnesota distributed Valentine’s cards to lawmakers, urging them to support the bill.
Lawmakers and reporters also heard from several people who were sent to conversion therapy by their parents and clergy and are still traumatized by the experience.
“My parents and I were lied to. Fraud was committed against my family,” Wil Sampson-Bernstrom declared, saying he became depressed and suicidal after four years of conversion therapy from counselors who tried to figure out what had gone wrong in his early childhood.
“I was told consistently that I was a threat to other people, that I was living a sin that I could change. How do you live after that?”
Read more: https://kare11.tv/2S42qwu