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House Human Services Policy Committee Passes Conversion Therapy Ban

Thursday, January 19, 2023

SAINT PAUL, MN – On Wednesday 18, 2023, legislation to ban conversion therapy, chief authored by Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL – Saint Paul), passed with a vote of 7-5 and will be going to the Health Finance Committee.  

“As a queer woman, I can assure you, that being loved and valued for exactly who you are, allows you to thrive. This bill protects LGBTQIA+ minors and vulnerable adults from harmful practices that diminish their self-worth,” said Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-Saint Paul). “Conversion therapy" is a practice widely discredited by groups like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The coercive practice is ineffective and can lead to harms including depression, decreased self-esteem, and substance abuse.”  

Macie Darden, a medical student from the University of Minnesota, spoke in support of the legislation.  

“Sexual orientation is not something to be fixed,” Darden said. “Our communities and our children do not deserve to be subjected to a therapy that has no proof, no scientific evidence, no legitimate research behind it. I stand for evidence-based medicine. I hope we can love our youth and accept them no matter who they love.” 

“Being gay has taught me how to love without reservation and fully embrace every aspect of myself,” said Katie Jeddeloh, an advocate for the bill. “It is time we offer that kind of love and understanding to our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters, rather than subjecting them to continued violence.” 

“Youth who have reported undergoing conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year,” testified Sydney Lo, a second-year medical student.  

Rep. Hollins’ bill prohibits mental health practitioners or mental health professionals from providing conversion therapy to vulnerable adults and clients under age 18 and specifies that such therapy is not covered by medical assistance. The bill also prohibits fraudulent or deceptive advertising practices relating to conversion therapy. 

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