A wagon-load of Valentine’s Day cards urging lawmakers to ban so-called “gay conversion therapy” awaits delivery to lawmakers by advocates at the State Capitol in St. Paul on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Dave Orrick) / Pioneer Press)

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.


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.

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