Michigan lawmakers voted in favour Ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors on Wednesday, the state’s latest attempt to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people as Republican legislatures continue to attack curbing freedoms for queer Americans.
The state legislature, controlled by the Democrats, finally approved two bills that would ban licensed medical professionals from practicing the practice. Conversion therapy is attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The The practice has been widely discredited by psychiatric and medical groups, who point out that minors are particularly vulnerable to a range of negative effects associated with such endeavors.
The legislation now goes to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). If signed, Michigan would become the 22nd state to ban conversion therapy.
“A ban is just one less thing for LGBTQ children in Michigan to worry about going forward,” said Michigan State Assemblyman Jason Hoskins (D), the first LGBTQ+ person of color to be elected to the Legislature The Associated Press this week. He added that conversion therapy “is based on the wrong assumption that LGBTQ+ kids are wrong and need to be fixed.”
Despite efforts to restrict damage-related conversion therapy, 15% of LGBTQ youth in Michigan According to The Trevor Project, they have been threatened or subjected to such practices in the past year.
Civil rights groups said the new bills would help protect vulnerable youth and commended the state for quickly passing guidelines to protect LGBTQ residents. The state added LGBTQ protections to its anti-discrimination regulations earlier this year, enshrining permanent protections for the community in law.
“No one should live in fear of exposure to the discredited and dangerous practice of so-called talk therapy,” Sarah Warbelow, vice president of legal affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement this week. “While it is a shame that this practice has been allowed to last for so long, today’s passage is just another example of Michigan’s rapidly transitioning into a more inclusive and safer state for LGBTQ+ people.”
The move comes amid a heated push by Republicans across the country to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. have state legislatures introduced hundreds of bills The goal is to limit access to health care for young transgender children, keep transgender athletes off school sports teams, and limit how much teachers can talk about sexuality in the classroom.
The human rights campaign declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people earlier this month, calling the Republican-led effort an urgent crisis for Americans.