On Thursday, lawmakers in the Minnesota Senate introduced a bill to prohibit therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of minor clients or vulnerable adults. The bill would also bar the state from reimbursing clinics for services that include conversion therapy.
The bill states:
“Conversion therapy” means any practice by a mental
health practitioner or mental health professional as defined in section 245.462 that is intended to change an individual’s sexual orientation, or intended to discourage a transition from one gender to another. This includes efforts to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Conversion therapy does not include: (1) counseling that provides assistance to a person seeking to transition from one gender to another; (2) counseling that facilitates a client’s coping skills, social support, and identity exploration and development; or (3) sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.
(a) No mental health practitioner or mental health professional shall engage in conversion therapy with a client under 18 years of age or with a vulnerable adult as defined in section 626.5572, subdivision 21.
(b) Conversion therapy attempted by a mental health practitioner or mental health professional with a client under 18 years of age or with vulnerable adults shall be unprofessional conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action by the mental health practitioner’s or mental health professional’s licensing board.
The bill was introduced by Sens. John Marty of Roseville, Scott Dibble of Minneapolis, Tony Lourey of Kerrick, Melissa Franzen of Edina, and Kathy Sheran of Mankato.
New Jersey, California and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation. Oregon, Iowa, and Colorado have advanced similar legislation so far in 2015.