🏳️🌈 Michigan Takes a Stand: Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ+ Youth 🏳️🌈
TL;DR: Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has taken a significant step forward in safeguarding LGBTQ+ rights by signing a legislation to ban the use of conversion therapy on minors. The discredited practice aimed to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity and has now been outlawed in the state. With this move, Michigan becomes the 22nd state to protect its LGBTQ+ youth from this harmful practice.
LANSING, Mich. – In a historic move, Michigan has joined the growing list of states to outlaw conversion therapy, a practice that has long been criticized for its attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ+ individuals. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation on Wednesday, marking a momentous victory for the LGBTQ+ community in the state.
The ban, approved by the Michigan Senate with a vote of 21-15, and later passed by the state House, explicitly defines conversion therapy as any form of treatment or practice conducted by mental health professionals that seeks to alter an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Notably, this legislation does not include counseling that supports individuals during their gender transition.
For Whitmer, this move was personal. As the mother of an LGBTQ+ individual, she emphasized the importance of eradicating this “horrific practice” to create a more inclusive Michigan. In fact, Whitmer had already taken action back in 2021 by issuing an executive directive to prohibit state and federal funds from being used for conversion therapy on minors.
According to The Trevor Project, an advocacy group, an estimated 15% of LGBTQ+ minors in Michigan have reported being threatened or subjected to conversion therapy as of 2022. This alarming statistic underscores the pressing need for measures that protect the vulnerable youth from such harmful practices.
The decision, however, has faced opposition from some Republicans who believe it may impede the work of mental health professionals. Nevertheless, the ban marks a crucial step towards safeguarding the rights and mental well-being of LGBTQ+ youth in Michigan.
The state’s commitment to protecting its LGBTQ+ community doesn’t stop here. Earlier this year, Michigan’s lawmakers amended the state’s civil rights act to ensure LGBTQ+ protections and to permanently prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Michigan now stands with other states in its dedication to preserving the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Minnesota, which also experienced a shift in political power, enacted a similar ban on conversion therapy earlier this year. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Governor, Katie Hobbs, took action through an executive order to prevent state agencies from funding or facilitating conversion therapy.
🤔 So, why is conversion therapy still a thing in some places? Are there any genuine arguments in favor of such practices? What are the potential consequences of allowing this kind of therapy to continue?
The fight for LGBTQ+ rights has taken center stage, with the Human Rights Campaign even declaring a state of emergency in response to the rising tide of discriminatory legislation across the country. As discussions around LGBTQ+ rights intensify, it’s essential to question the validity of conversion therapy and consider the overall impact on the mental health and well-being of young LGBTQ+ individuals.
🤷 Do you believe conversion therapy should be banned nationwide? How can society better support LGBTQ+ youth and protect them from harmful practices? Join the conversation below! 🌈