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Michigan Outlaws Conversion Therapy For LGBTQ+ Minors

Michigan Outlaws Conversion Therapy For LGBTQ+ Minors

Conversion therapy
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The conversion therapy ban currently awaits approval from the governor, who describes conversion therapy as “dangerous.”

@andrewjstillman

Michigan lawmakers have successfully passed legislation that prohibits the controversial practice of conversion therapy for minors.

Conversion therapy refers to attempts by mental health professionals to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, practices that have been discredited by scientific research. The ban received final approval in the Michigan Senate on Tuesday, with a vote of 21-15, including the support of one Republican legislator who joined forces with the Democrats. The legislation had previously been approved by the state House.

It now awaits the final approval of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has described conversion therapy as a "dangerous practice."

The Democrats in Michigan have made it a priority to protect LGBTQ+ individuals since gaining control of all levels of state government. In March, the lawmakers codified LGBTQ+ protections into the state's civil rights law, which makes it illegal to discriminate based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Opposition to the ban was voiced, as usual, by Republican legislators, who frequently focused their speeches on transgender individuals. Responding to their remarks, Democratic Senator, Jeremy Moss, the state's first openly gay senator, stated on the Senate floor, "Hearing a bunch of straight people in the Senate lecture me about the journey of an LGBTQ person is the exact reason we should be banning conversion therapy."

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ rights think tank, declared a state of emergency earlier this month due to the surge of discriminatory legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community. In response to Michigan's ban, the organization commended the state for taking a stand against conversion therapy.

If signed by Governor Whitmer, Michigan will become the 22nd state in the United States to outlaw this practice. Additionally, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from using funds to promote or facilitate conversion therapy.

Governor Whitmer previously signed an executive directive in 2021, barring the use of state and federal funds for conversion therapy on minors. The directive also aimed to explore further actions to protect minors from this harmful practice.

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Andrew J. Stillman

Contributing Writer for Pride.com

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.