State Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Twp.) and state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) introduced legislation this week that would prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with a minor. House Bill 4651 and Senate Bill 367 would ban any practice or treatments by licensed mental health professionals that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Protecting the young people of our state from these harmful practices is a top priority,” said Brabec. “As a clinical psychologist, I recognize the severity behind this issue and understand how harmful this practice can be on the mental health of our children. Banning such an adverse and outdated practice is a great first step Michigan can take toward affirming its LGBTQ youth.”
Conversion therapy and the idea that one can be “cured” of their sexual orientation or gender identity has been overwhelmingly disavowed by experts and organizations in the medical and mental health community.
“Communities across Michigan are adopting resolutions banning this practice because they know that more inclusive cities attract families and businesses,” said McMorrow. “It’s time that the state follows their lead.”
Twenty other states have already banned conversion therapy. Both Republican and Democratic governors across the nation have signed conversion therapy bans into law, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The legislation introduced this week advocates for Michigan to become the next state to implement a ban on conversion therapy.