Michigan bans conversion therapy

The business of convincing LGBTQ kids they are heterosexual took a hit yesterday as Michican Gov. Gretchen Wilmer signed a ban on "convertion therapy" into law there.

Michigan becomes the 22nd state to outlaw conversion therapy, which state lawmakers defined as 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.

Whitmer, who is the mother of a member of the LGBTQ community, said in a statement that banning the "horrific practice," of conversion therapy was necessary to making Michigan a place "where you can be who you are." She signed an executive directive in 2021 prohibiting the use of state and federal funds for conversion therapy on minors.

From the Trevor Project: "15% of LGBTQ youth in Michigan reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy."

"LGBTQ young people deserve to live authentically as who they are and the passage of these bills profoundly reaffirms this fundamental value and serves as a beacon of hope for LGBTQ young people in Michigan and beyond. We applaud the state lawmakers for taking swift action in implementing these protections and building on the incredible bipartisan momentum of similar advances this year like in Minnesota to eliminate the harms of conversion 'therapy' nationwide," said Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. "This milestone would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of our partners at Equality Michigan and Human Rights Campaign and the leadership of pro-equality legislators and advocates across the state."