Rep. Karen Clark plans to introduce bill banning ex-gay therapy

dibble clark.jpeg
A year after they teamed up on a marriage equality bill, Dibble and Clark might combine forces in the name of GLBT rights once again this session.
According to a release distributed by Change.org, Rep. Karen Clark, D-Minneapolis, plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would make Minnesota the third state (following New Jersey and California) to ban the type of therapy Marcus Bachmann made famous -- ex-gay therapy.

RELATED: Anoka-Hennepin school board says 'no' to ex-gay therapy

It's likely a companion bill would be pushed in the Senate by openly gay Sen. Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis, who earlier this year told City Pages, "These therapies are premised on a falsehood... We all know that you can't change people."

Clark's bill was drafted with the help of Alec Fischer, a young Minneapolis resident who authored a Change.org petition calling on legislators to "protect children from dangerous anti-gay conversion therapy." His petition has been signed by more than 75,000 people as of this morning.

In the petition, Fischer tells his story. Here's an excerpt:
Growing up as a gay male in Minnesota I have experienced many forms of discrimination due to my sexual orientation. I was bullied horrifically in middle school for being perceived as gay, and like many people who experience bullying, the problem got so bad that I attempted suicide.

Thankfully, when I got to high school, I was fortunate enough to come out to peers and family members who loved and accepted me for who I was. But we know this is not the case for many other youth who identify as LGBT in our state and across the country. That's why I want my state to take a stand for LGBT youth, and ban "ex-gay" conversion therapy.

Gay conversion therapy is a discredited practice in which youth are subjected to psychologically damaging "treatment" by psychologists and counselors who falsely claim they can "fix" the sexual orientation of children who identify as being LGBT.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and every leading medical organization condemns conversion therapy. The APA claims it can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts among those who experience it.
In the Change.org release, Fischer frames his effort within the broader context of the state's recent moves toward equal rights for gays, including the legalization of same-sex marriage.

"Minnesota made history earlier this year by legalizing same-sex marriage. How can we be a state that recognizes equality for all couples, yet still sends a message that it's okay to try and cure gay children?" Fischer said. "It's time for Minnesota to make history again, and join New Jersey and California as states that will not tolerate efforts to 'cure' sexual orientation among LGBT kids."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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37 comments
M_Dubs
M_Dubs

Banning state-licensed therapists, psychologists, and medical professionals from administering a practice to minors that has been condemned by all major medical and scientific organizations is consistent with the regulating/licensing authority of the state. Minors are not legally able to give consent, and thus they should not be subjected to pseudoscience by licensed professionals, especially when that pseudoscience is based almost exclusively on a religious practice with no scientific merit. Nothing in these laws prevents priests and unlicensed therapists from pushing this practice on minors. Also, as I understand, in California and New Jersey, adults can still seek out the practice by licensed professionals (because they can give legal consent), provided they find a licensed professional willing to perform it (most won't, and with good reason) and are advised on the risks associated with it.

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

glad we know our priorities are at in minnesota

Erin Burckhard
Erin Burckhard

I cant believe we actually have to sign a petition to have this kind of bill passed... ridiculous... LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!!

Rene Klein
Rene Klein

There are a lot of medical and therapeutic practices that are not used anymore because science has proven them to be faulty, incorrect or damaging. THIS would be one of those practices. It's not about choice. It's about people realizing they're wrong.

HillbillyBob
HillbillyBob

I pray to god that this bill does not pass.  What kind of a sinner wants to ban therapists who are just trying to cure people?  I'm looking at you, Karen Clark!!

John Walsh
John Walsh

Someone warn Marcus Bachmann....STAT !

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

how do you ban some arbitrary shit like therapy

ban life coaches and job coaches

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

Aren't there people who want to participate in this sort of thing? Obviously accepting one's own true identity is the most healthy decision, but this is a free country, and if someone wants to go to ex-gay therapy, he or she should be allowed to do so, right? I detest the people running these sort of facilities, but so long as nobody is being forced, I can't see any grounds for a ban.

Edward McGourn
Edward McGourn

Thanks for making decisions for people. I hate it when people have to go through the work of making their own.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Another wedge issue. With that line of thought, we should ban religion, non-profits, etc. All those types are barkers trying to hock their wares. Ban them all or none at all. I say none, let people fall on their face. That's the only way to learn

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

About time. Can the Jesus freaks accept that people are who they are already? Why don't they convert instead...to tolerance.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Erin BurckhardBut Scientology and Sharia law are just fine?

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

@Rene Klein Chiropractors, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Holistics; the list goes on. They're all non-scientific, and many have been proven to be ineffectual. Yet they're still available. It IS about choice. Legislating this practice out of existence will only weaken the GLBT community's standing especially with people on the fence about same-sex marriage. It will breed resentment, not tolerance. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Rene Klein right and wrong are human constructs

i dont see churches being banned, and they practice nonsense

_Joe_
_Joe_

@HillbillyBob 

I asked Santa to cure the stupid out of people that believe in make-believe deities.

Didn't work.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Shut up! I want stupid people to be billed $100 plus an hour to be told to Cowboy up and quit snivelling.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Tyler Chip Moody Suter 

The problem is that a LOT of people are being forced by their parents despite the proof that it is harmful.

TruDat
TruDat

@mingtran 

You can be sure that liberals would ban religion if they could. Give it about 5 years.

HillbillyBob
HillbillyBob

@Daren L. MN How ironic that you are calling followers of Christ freaks and at the same time defending a bunch of perverts.  This is truly sickening.  I will pray for you, Daren L.

M_Dubs
M_Dubs

@alsdkfj The difference is that if a licensed therapist or medical professional used any of those practices on a minor (who legally can not give his/her consent), that professional would be engaging in unethical behavior. Conversion therapy has not been banned in California and New Jersey. Rather, licensed professionals have been banned from using it on minors, and adults must be informed that the practice has been condemned by all major professional organizations and has been shown to be ineffective as well as potentially harmful. If parents want to subject their children to such treatment, they still can, albeit it would have to be by a pastor or other unlicensed source.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@alsdkfj The difference is that none of the things you listed have been proven harmful

HillbillyBob
HillbillyBob

 _Joe_

Santa doesn't deliver until Christmas, Einstein.

HillbillyBob
HillbillyBob

@Erica Erica, homosexuality is a perversion and a sin, whether you like it or not.  That is a fact and is stated in THE HOLY BIBLE!!  I can't believe that you would support a bill to ban health professionals from helping those who seek their assistance.  A sad day for Minnesota.

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

@_Joe_ Them and every other child on the planet, have been "forced" to do things they don't like. If and when they are old enough to comprehensibly disagree, then they should. Otherwise, tough shit; a perfect relationship with your parents can't be legislated. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@TruDat @mingtran That would be interesting to see how the secular and nonsecular progressives fall out.  Right now you've got a fair number of Catholics and Christians in general preaching the "Share and Spread" mantra, while not quite getting the distinction between Charity and Redistribution 


_Joe_
_Joe_

@HillbillyBob

"I will pray for you"

Which translates to, "I will feel morally superior to you without actually having to do anything of substance."

_Joe_
_Joe_

@HillbillyBob @Erica 

Dementors are repelled by Patronus charms whether you like it or not.  That is a fact and is stated in THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN!!  I can't believe that you would support a bill to ban wizards from helping those who seek shelter from Dementors.  Sad day for MN....

_Joe_
_Joe_

@alsdkfj "What does that even mean?"

Which part?  The part where I made you suck off your own words?  Or the part where I distinguished between parents forcing their children to attend "therapy" that has been proven to be harmful and parents making their kids eat vegetables?  Because you seem to think they are one in the same.

To reiterate:  yes parents can force their kids to go to whackjob religious camps, make them eat vegetables, and do their homework, but NONE of these things are on a scale with sending them to "gay therapy" that has been proven to be psychologically damaging  (with the arguable exception of religious camps - religion has been proven globally harmful by everyone, but nobody has the balls to come out and say it.)

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

@barbertj23 @alsdkfj Nice red herring. Inability to consent =/= not wanting to go to therapy. If you have some actual logic you'd like to use to clarify your position I'd like to hear it, but if off-base insults are all you have, then shut up.

barbertj23
barbertj23

@alsdkfj

You are very, very wrong with that line of logic. You sound like a child molester trying to convince everyone that the kids wanted it.

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

@_Joe_ @alsdkfj What does that even mean? A lot of kids have a tough time at school, but it doesn't qualify as abuse. Quit acting like children are devoid of any agency and recognize they can make choices; lots of them chose to ignore their regular education in spite of being forced to go to school every day, so I'm sure plenty of them chose to ignore the asinine reeducation that takes place at these camps. And, hard as it may be to believe, some kids want to go to these. They want to "fix" their problem or please their parents. Doesn't mean it will work, or they won't have issues when they're older, it just means they'll live. And it isn't any of your business how they live.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@alsdkfj

These programs amount to abuse and parents who force them on their children should be prosecuted as such.

That's a little different than, "eat your veggies."

When you're old enough to comprehensibly disagree, then you should.  Until then, tough shit.

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