Minnesota should reconsider anti-gay therapy ban

Lawmakers should have passed a bill to ban sexual orientation change therapy for minors.

Minnesota minors may not get the protection they deserve regarding sexual orientation identity now that a bill to ban anti-gay therapy fell short in the state Legislature.

Support for the bill grew after two University of Minnesota political science students created an online petition requesting its introduction. The petition received more than 110,000  signatures.

The Minnesota Daily Editorial Board supported the bill and suggested it would be easy to get bipartisan support for an issue that affects Minnesota minors in such a personal way. Unfortunately and surprisingly, there was not enough support for a hearing of the legislation. Lawmakers cited lack of information and knowledge of impact as the main reasons for blocking the bill.

We are disappointed that the bill did not get a hearing and are puzzled that a clear-cut issue of protecting minors from psychological duress has somehow turned into a gray area in the minds of  lawmakers.

While we agree that a full ban on conversion therapy would be excessive, a ban on this kind of therapy for minors makes sense. The bill would protect children who may not have a choice from undergoing potentially harmful mental and emotional stress.

We hope that lawmakers reconsider their position in the future and continue to actively work with University students to foster greater education and advocacy for the cause.