US: Bill to ban youth ‘gay cure’ therapy submitted in Michigan
A bill that would ban ‘gay cure’ therapy among minors has been submitted in Michigan.
The proposal, submitted to the state House of Representatives, would amend the state’s medical code, to prohibit health workers from attempting to change people’s sexual orientation to ‘cure’ them from homosexuality.
However, the law would only stop the practice targeting under-18s, and would not outlaw it outright, as some activists desire.
It states: “A mental health professional shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a minor.”
It was submitted by Democrat Representative Adam Zemke, and co-sponsored by representatives Singh, Banks, Kandrevas, Irwin, Dianda, Roberts, Tlaib, Switalski, Townsend, Lipton, Barnett and Robinson.
A similar ban was enacted in New Jersey last year, while other bans have been mooted in several other states, including Illinois, California and New York.
Patrick McAlvey, who was subjected to ‘gay cure’ therapy from age 11, told Michigan Live he wanted it banned to prevent people suffering as he did.
He said: “The focus of my life was trying to figure out how to change… I was desperate to change and feeling worse and worse about myself the longer I wasn’t straight.”
“When you’re 11, the person who you are going to be is developing, and to be told a part of you that you didn’t choose and can’t change is wrong, it’s a crushing blow to your self-esteem.”
“There’s not a question about whether it’s harmful or dangerous – it is, and it’s time we do what we can to protect kids in Michigan from it.”
The bill may face significant hurdles early on, however, as Republican Gail Haines, who chairs the House Health Policy Committee, claims it limits parents’ rights.
She said: “I think creating new laws that intervene in the relationship between parents and a child seems unnecessary.”