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Republicans reject conversion therapy ban in Minnesota

Patrick Kelleher May 10, 2019
Republicans reject conversion therapy ban in Minnesota

Conversion therapy is widely considered to be harmful pseudoscience (Pexels)

An amendment in Minnesota that would have banned conversion therapy for minors has been shot down by Republican senators.

The amendment—which was put forward by openly gay Senator Scott Dibble—was ultimately voted against by every Republican in the house, and failed by a 34-30 majority, according to CityPages.com.

The amendment’s rejection came as a blow to Dibble as he had previously had two Republicans approach him to offer their support. One of those Republcians, Scott Jensen, provided his own version of the amendment as he was worried that Dibble’s version was too far-reaching.

He was told by Jensen and fellow Republican Eric Pratt that, if they took it on, they could get between four and 10 Republicans to support the measure.

Republicans threatened to shoot down the entire bill

However, Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka called a recess and summoned the Senate’s Republicans to a meeting.

Dibble was later told that—if the amendment was passed—that six Republicans would vote against the health and human services budget bill it was attached to. The threat effectively killed the conversion therapy amendment.

Dibble said he was “surprised and a little disappointed” by the result.

Dibble said he was “surprised and a little disappointed” by the result. Meanwhile, Jensen later said he was “nauseated” by what had happened and apologised to Dibble that the amendment had “fallen apart.”

Republicans reject conversion therapy ban in Minnesota
A UK survey found that one in five people who had experienced conversion therapy later attempted suicide (Tess Emily/Pexels)

A number of states have banned conversion therapy in recent years, however most only ban the practice for minors.

Conversion therapy is widely considered to be harmful pseudoscience

LGBT+ charity Stonewall defines conversion therapy as “any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity.”

Conversion therapy is widely considered to be pseudoscience that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The practice has been condemned by various health and psychiatry bodies across the world. In the United States, it has been discredited by the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry.

One in five people in the UK who had experienced conversion therapy attempted suicide

Meanwhile, a UK survey of survivors of conversion therapy from earlier this year found that one in five people who had been through the practice had attempted suicide.

The findings were detailed in a report from the Ozanne foundation and was based on 4,600 responses.

Of the 458 participants who had experienced conversion therapy, 91 people said they had attempted suicide.

Two in five of those who had experience with the harmful practice had suicidal thoughts, while less than a third said they had gone on to “have gone on to lead a happy and fulfilled life.”

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