Written by Dave Orrick, Pioneer Press
May 25, 2019
The two top priorities for LGBTQ rights advocates didn’t make it.
For both a ban on so-called gay “conversion therapy” and a measure to allow two married women to have the same parental rights as a man-woman married couple failed to gain enough support in the Republican-majority Senate to reach the desk of Gov. Tim Walz.
Gay rights advocates sought to prohibit mental health practitioners and professionals from charging money for so-called gay “conversion therapy” — the widely discredited practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation.
Democrats, who hold the majority in the House, approved the ban, but it was voted down in the Republican-controlled Senate on a party-line vote. The issue became more personal for some lawmakers after it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, had sent his own child, who came out as lesbian as a teen and now identifies as bi-gender, to a therapist who opposes same-sex relationships.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY (LOGAN’S LAW)
Half of the married gay women in Minnesota are forced to adopt their own children under Minnesota law. Even though gay marriage became legal in Minnesota in 2013, a host of gender-specific terms remain in statutes. A bill known as “Logan’s Law” after a St. Paul child of two women passed the House but never reached a vote in the Senate and was ultimately not included in the final plan approved by lawmakers.