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Conversion Therapy Ban passed out of Preventive Health Division

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Rep. Athena Hollins



Minnesota House of Representatives

District 66B, 651-296-4224,

539 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155



Contact: Lindy Sowmick

989-289-8593 or


March 2, 2022


Conversion Therapy Ban passed out of Preventive Health Division 

SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, legislation to ban conversion therapy, authored by Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL – Saint Paul), passed out of the Preventive Health Division with a vote of 7-4. The committee heard back-and-forth testimony from the public, hearing from more than 26 experts and community members.

The author and members of the committee release the following statements:

“Conversion therapy includes a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Rep. Athena Hollins. “Conversion therapy is not a therapy at all, it’s been denounced by every mainstream medical and mental health association, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This bill would prevent teens and young adults from being coerced into treatments that are ineffective and lead to depression, decreased self esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide. It also seeks to help prevent parents from being taken advantage of by deceptive agents of the conversion therapy industry. This would change lives, improve lives, and save lives. I implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to acknowledge the inherent okay-ness of all human beings. We are who we are, and we deserve acceptance, and we deserve love.”

“I’m here as a person of faith,” said Rep. Esther Agbaje (DFL – Minneapolis). “And my faith doesn’t promote hate. It really is disappointing to see so many people using religion as a cover for hate and control. As a believer, I want to state that my faith does not adhere to that; we are welcoming of all people and welcoming of all peoples’ paths. I also want to make it clear to all LGBTQ+ youth watching, that you are loved, you are beautiful, and you are perfect the way you are.”

 “I was elected in 2012 when the marriage amendment was on the ballot,” said Chair Mike Freiberg (DFL – Golden Valley). “That was defeated, and same sex marriage was passed legislatively a year later.  It seemed like we were moving in the right direction in terms of acceptance, but based on the testimony we've heard today, and hearing about what people have gone through, it's clear we have a long way to go. Bills targeting LGBTQ+ youth are being discussed in Texas and Florida, and it must be a terrifying moment for gay, queer, and trans youth in those states.  They are being told by elected officials that their feelings and their identity is wrong.  As Rep. Agbaje put it, you are beautiful the way you are. That's why this bill is so important, why I coauthored it, and why I will be proud to vote for it.”

Video of the hearing can be found on the House Info YouTube Page.