Minnesota Senators introduce ban on "ex-gay" therapy, identical bill now pending in both houses of the state legislature

Minnesota senators have introduced a bill that would prohibit those with professional licenses from engaging in “reparative therapy” in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity for those under the age of 18. If the bill passes, therapists who provide such therapies to youth risk losing their licenses to practice.

The bill was introduced by Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, and Sen. Melissa Franzen, DFL-Edina.

Members of the House pre-filed an identical bill in January.

The bill is modeled after one that passed in California in 2012 and had been upheld by a federal court. New Jersey has also banned the controversial therapy. Legislation is pending in New York, Ohio, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland among others.

Here’s the full text of the bill:

Section 1. [214.077] SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS.
Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.
(b) “Provider” means a person licensed by the Board of Medical Practice created pursuant to section 147.01, the Board of Nursing created pursuant to section 148.181, the Board of Psychology created pursuant to section 148.90, the Board of Social Work
created pursuant to section 148E.025, the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy created pursuant to section 148B.30, or the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy created pursuant to section 148B.51.
(c) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by a provider that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Sexual orientation change efforts do not include counseling that provides assistance to a person seeking to transition from one gender to another, or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or facilitates a client’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices so long as such counseling does not seek to change sexual orientation.
Subd. 2. Prohibition. (a) No provider shall engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a client under 18 years of age.
(b) Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted by a provider with a client under 18 years of age shall be unprofessional conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action by the provider’s licensing board.
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.