Michigan Legislature approves ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ+ minors

Jun 28, 2023, 8:04 AM | Updated: 8:50 am

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers gave final approval to legislation banning so-called conversion therapy for minors as Democrats in the state continue to advance a pro-LGBTQ+ agenda in their first months in power.

The legislation would prohibit mental health professionals from engaging youths in the scientifically discredited practice of trying to convert people who are LGBTQ+ to heterosexuality and traditional gender expectations.

The Michigan Senate approved the ban on a 21-15 vote — with one Republican siding with Democrats — late Tuesday after the state House previously approved the legislation. It now awaits final approval by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has previously called the therapy a “dangerous practice.”

Democratic state Rep. Jason Hoskins, a sponsor of the bills, told The Associated Press when the legislation was first introduced that conversion therapy “works on the false premise that LGBTQ+ children are wrong and they need to be fixed.”

“Banning it is just one less thing that LGBTQ children will have to worry about going forward in Michigan,” said Hoskins, who was the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the Michigan Legislature.

Michigan Democrats have made it a priority to further protect LGBTQ+ people since they took lawmakers codified LGBTQ+ protections into the state’s civil rights law, permanently outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the state.

Republicans spoke out about the ban of conversion therapy on the Senate floor Tuesday night, with speeches often centering on transgender people.

“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,” Democratic Sen. Jeremy Moss, the state’s first openly gay state senator, said on the chamber’s floor Tuesday.

Under the bills passed Wednesday, conversion therapy includes any practice or treatment by a mental health professional that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. That does not include counseling that provides assistance to people undergoing a gender transition.

The Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community earlier this month in response to what i called an “unprecedented and dangerous” spike in discriminatory legislation sweeping statehouses this year. The organization praised Michigan on Tuesday for passing the ban.

If signed by Whitmer, Michigan will become the 22nd state to ban conversion therapy, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a pro-LGBTQ+ rights think tank. Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Tuesday that prohibits state agencies from using funds to promote or facilitate conversion therapy.

In 2021, Whitmer signed an executive directive prohibiting the use of state and federal funds for conversion therapy on minors and to explore what further actions can be taken to protect minors from the practice.

National News

FILE - Former NFL football quarterback Brett Favre speaks with reporters prior to his induction to ...

Associated Press

A Mississippi judge removes 1 of Brett Favre’s lawyers in a civil case over misspent welfare money

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge has removed one of the attorneys representing retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre in a state civil lawsuit that seeks to recover welfare money that was supposed to help some of the poorest residents in the U.S. but went to projects pushed by wealthy and well-connected people. Favre is […]

52 minutes ago

FILE - Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Res...

Associated Press

Powell says Federal Reserve is more confident inflation is slowing to its target

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chair Jerome Powell said Monday that the Federal Reserve is becoming more convinced that inflation is headed back to its 2% target and said the Fed would cut rates before the pace of price increases actually reached that point. “We’ve had three better readings, and if you average them, that’s a pretty […]

57 minutes ago

FILE - Herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine, July 8, 2015. Several commercia...

Associated Press

New England fishermen sentenced in complex herring fraud case

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Several commercial fishermen in New England have been sentenced in a fraud scheme that centered on a critically important species of bait fish and that prosecutors described as complex and wide-ranging. The fishermen were sentenced for “knowingly subverting commercial fishing reporting requirements” in a scheme involving Atlantic herring, prosecutors said in […]

1 hour ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump addresses the crowd at a campaign e...

Associated Press

What to know about the attempt on Trump’s life and its aftermath

The FBI is still trying to determine a motive behind Saturday’s attempt to assassinate former President Donald Trump, while the tone of this week’s Republican convention in Milwaukee likely will be dominated by the violence. A former fire chief who was killed at Trump’s Pennsylvania rally is being remembered as a “man of conviction.” The […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Mechanical issues prompt 2 Delta Air Lines flights to divert, return to airport

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two Delta Air Lines flights were diverted over the weekend because of mechanical issues, the FAA said Monday. Delta flight 927, en route from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Atlanta, was diverted to St. Louis shortly before noon Saturday because of an issue with cabin pressure, the airline said in a statement. […]

4 hours ago

trump assassination...

Ayanna Alexander, The Associated Press

What to know about Trump assassination attempt and the investigation into the shooting

Authorities want to know how a shooter was able to get on top of a roof so close to where former President Donald Trump was speaking and open fire.

4 hours ago

Michigan Legislature approves ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ+ minors