Two Bills Push to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors in Michigan
Lawmakers in Lansing are currently considering two bills that would ban conversion therapy for minors in Michigan.
Conversion therapy is defined as "any practice or treatment by a mental health professional that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behavior or gender expression or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward an individual of the same gender."
Surprisingly, Michigan is one of 26 states and four US territories that have no state law regarding conversion therapy.
Nationally, 38% of the LGBTQ population in the US lives in states with no laws or policies banning conversion therapy for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project. Less than half of the country's LGBTQ population lives in states that have already banned the practice.
One bill which seeks to end the practice in our state was introduced in the State House on Thursday. It has gathered the support of 50 Democrats. The other was presented to the State Senate by 14 Democrats and one Republican, according to television station WLNS-TV in Lansing.
Senate Bill number 367 would ban mental health professionals from engaging in any practice that would be considered conversion therapy, stating:
A mental health professional who violates this section is subject to disciplinary action and licensing sanctions for unprofessional conduct as provided under sections 16221 and 16226 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16221 and 333.16226.
The wording of House Bill number 4651 is nearly identical. It has been referred to the Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors.