Governor kicks off Pride Month banning use of state and federal funds for barbaric conversion therapy

Maggie Baska June 2, 2021
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Tony Evers Wisconsin

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers waits to address the virtual Democratic National Convention on 19 August 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Melina Mara - Pool/Getty Images)

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has kicked off Pride Month by issuing an order banning the use of state and federal funds for the barbaric practice of LGBT conversion therapy.

Evers signed three pro-LGBT+ executive orders on Tuesday (1 June) in celebration of the start of Pride Month. One order requires the Wisconsin department of health services, department of corrections and department of children and families to “take appropriate steps” to “disallow payment of state and federal funds” allocated to their agencies for “conversion therapy for minors”.

Executive order 122 declared that state funds should be “used for evidence-based services”. As such, the order said funding shouldn’t be used to “facilitate unethical, dangerous, contraindicated, or harmful practices” like conversion therapy that are no longer recognised as “viable by practicing health professionals”.

Evers said in a press release that Pride Month offers people “an opportunity” to “reflect on how the state and our communities can be better allies” to the LGBT+ community. He continued: “These executive orders today recognise the work we have to do as a state to protect, support and celebrate all LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our kids, and ensure our state is a safe, inclusive and just place where every person has the resources and support to thrive.”

In addition to the ban on funding for conversion therapy, Evers also signed an executive order specifying that the LGBT+ flag should fly over the statehouse from noon on Tuesday until “sunset” on 30 June. The order authorised other Wisconsin state buildings to fly the Pride flag through June.

Evers said the Pride flag is a symbol of the state’s “commitment to celebrating and supporting LGBTQ Wisconsinites”. He added it is “emblematic of the history of the community”, “hard fought battles” that the LGBT+ community has faced and the progress Wisconsin has “yet to make”.

The third executive order directed state agencies to write external documents using gender-neutral language whenever possible. This included suggestions for using gender-neutral pronouns and terms, drafting to eliminate the need for pronouns and even omitting superfluous gendered words.


Related topics: conversion therapy, Wisconsin

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