St. Paul, MN – February 20, 2023 – The Minnesota House of Representatives, as one of it’s early priorities, has passed HF 16, which prohibits “conversion therapy with children or vulnerable adults…medical assistance coverage for conversion therapy…and the misrepresentation of conversion therapy services or products.” OutFront Minnesota applauds the Minnesota House of Representative for passing this important legislation with bipartisan support on a 81-47 vote.
State Representative Athena Hollins (DFL-66B) is the lead author of HF 16 along with numerous other co-authors - including all the members of Minnesota’s newly formed Queer Caucus. “When a child or youth is discovering their identities, it is of the utmost importance that those families are given adequate support in navigating this new journey together. Families should not be victimized and abused for their vulnerability. We must move past the idea that queer people can choose their sexuality and gender identity, and let them show up as their full, glorious, authentic selves. Minnesota has long been a champion for queer rights, and we have a chance to continue leading on this issue by passing this bill tonight,” said Rep. Hollins.
OutFront Minnesota will continue to advocate and monitor the Senate companion bill, SF 23, as it moves through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
This legislation will end the practice of conversion ‘therapy’ for LGBTQ+ Minnesotans, which is defined as seeking to “change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.”
OutFront Minnesota has been working collaboratively with local coalition partner organizations as well as national partners including The Trevor Project, Born Perfect, and Human Rights Campaign to deliver powerful testimony and build community engagement. The partners credit the persistence of Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ community organizers over many years of work on this priority; and they thank State Rep. Hollins’ and the legislative champions who have helped to carry this legislation one step closer to becoming law.
Kat Rohn, OutFront Minnesota’s Executive Director said, “Minnesota is ready to ban conversion ‘therapy,’ and today we are one step closer to realizing that goal. I’d like to thank Rep. Athena Hollins and our partners, testifiers, and community members who have helped to bring us to this moment. This legislation will ensure that Minnesotans are protected from this harmful and discredited practice - and it sends a strong message to LGBTQ+ Minnesotans that we are perfect just as we are.”
“Amid a record-breaking number of statewide anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, this legislation is a beacon of hope to LGBTQ young Minnesotans and those who love and support them," said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns for The Trevor Project. "It is inspiring to see Minnesota lawmakers come together and work swiftly to advance these protections for LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of so-called 'conversion therapy’ — which have been consistently associated with poor mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk. We ask the legislators to continue supporting this bill and look forward to seeing Minnesota join the growing chorus of states that have outlawed these harmful practices in the U.S."
“Following Governor Walz’s Executive Order banning ‘conversion therapy’ in the state, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a historic bill that would codify the ‘conversion therapy’ ban into state law,” said Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. “The dangerous, and discredited, practice has no place in our society. The scientific community has repeatedly rejected this practice as dangerous and not based in science. This dangerous practice has lifelong consequences for those who experience it. We thank the Minnesota House for following Governor Walz’s lead and urge the Minnesota Senate to take quick action to ban this harmful practice in the state for good.”