Ann Arbor to consider ‘conversion therapy’ ban

ANN ARBOR — Ann Arbor is considering banning “conversion therapy” according to MLive.com. MLive.com reported Wednesday that Ann Arbor City Attorney Stephen Postema gave the city council an overview of a draft ordinance that would ban “conversion therapy” on minors. From MLive.com:

Postema said the issue came to him through Mayor Christopher Taylor’s office and he’s been in touch with the attorney who drafted the Huntington Woods ordinance to talk through it. “Certainly people in Ann Arbor are sensitive to this subject,” Postema said, noting it deals with treatment of LGBTQ youth. “It’s obviously of concern to folks.”

Racine bans ‘conversion therapy’

RACINE — Racine’s city council voted this week to ban “conversion therapy” within the city limits. The (Racine) Journal-Times reported that the council voted for the ban in a vote of 11-3. The newspaper said that three alderman thought the ordinance was beyond the scope of the city council and rushed. A statewide bill was introduced in March. There were of course objections.

Colorado bans ‘conversion therapy’

DENVER — Colorado became the latest state to ban “conversion therapy” when Gov. Jared Polis signed a just passed bill on Friday. The Hill reported that Polis signed the legislation during a ceremony at the Capitol on Friday, launching Pride month with the action. Polis is the only out current state governor and one of two LGBTQ governors in the country. From The Hill:
Under the bill, mental health providers are prohibited from engaging in conversion therapy with those under the age of 18. The legislation bars licensed physicians or those specializing in psychiatry from efforts “to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

Maine becomes the latest state to ban ‘conversion therapy’

AUGUSTA — Maine became the 17th state to ban “conversion therapy” on Wednesday. The Hill reported that Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, has signed legislation banning “conversion therapy” on minors. From The Hill:
“Today I signed into law a bill banning conversion therapy, a widely-discredited practice that has no place in Maine,” Mills announced on Twitter on Wednesday. 

“Today, we send an unequivocal message to young LGBTQ people: we stand with you, we support you, and we will always defend your right to be who you are,” she continued. The bill prohibits the “advertising, offering and administering of therapy designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, also known as conversion therapy, to individuals under 18 years of age” in the state. The law states that “conversion therapy” “is based on the false premise that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness or disorder and is caused by a developmental deficiency, trauma, abuse or unmet emotional needs and that conversion therapy can alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” the website reported. 

“Today, Maine has taken decisive action to protect LGBTQ youth from so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” said Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement.

Minnesota joins list of states working to ban ‘conversion therapy’

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House of Representatives voted on Thursday to ban “conversion therapy” for youth 18 years old and younger. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the bill bans any practice “that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.”

The newspaper also reported the vote was along party lines in the Democratic controlled House. The State Senate, however, is controlled by the GOP.

‘Conversion therapy’ ban filed in Michigan legislature

LANSING — Legislation was filed this week to make Michigan the 17th state to ban “conversion therapy.” WDIV-TV reported that Michigan St. Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) and Michigan St. Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) introduced Senate Bill 284 and House Bill 4515 to protect LGBTQ youth. 

“Eradicating conversion therapy will send a clear message that Michigan is a place where discrimination will not be tolerated,” McMorrow told the TV station. “If we want to attract and retain talented, hardworking people in our communities, we need to ensure that our state is welcoming and open to all.”

“Conversion therapy is based on prejudice and has been discredited by modern medicine,” Rabhi said.

Congress

Bill filed to cut funds for ‘conversion therapy’ nationally

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) filed a bill that would ban the use of Medicaid funding for conversion therapy on Thursday. According to NBC OUT, the bill would crack down on misleading billing tactics to stop funding. The bill is called the “Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act.” From NBC OUT:

“Conversion practices are discredited, harmful, and not therapy,” Maloney said. “Fundamentally, conversion tactics are based on the idea that a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation are diseases to be cured — they have no legitimate medical application and should not be used anywhere.

‘Conversion therapy’ ban introduced in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wisc. — A Wisconsin state senator has introduced a bill banning “conversion therapy” in the state, local media reported. Four Wisconsin cities have already banned it. From CBS58:
Senator Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee is among the authors of a bill introduced to ban conversion therapy. “Can lead to teen suicides, kids running away from home, actually getting involved with drugs and alcohol,” says Sen. Tim Carpenter, (D)-Milwaukee.