MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council passed a ban Friday on the controversial practice of conversion therapy for minors.
Conversion therapy intends to change the sexual orientation or gender identity through psychological or spiritual means. Several states have banned the practice, which is also condemned by leading medical and psychological groups.
Local officials announced their intent to introduce an ordinance banning conversion therapy for minors in October. Minneapolis Council Members Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins authored the ordinance.
The push comes after a statewide ban failed to materialize last legislative session. The bill saw emotional testimony from child survivors and push back from religious freedom groups.
At Friday’s council meeting, Jenkins said she hopes Minneapolis’ ordinance can help set precedent for other cities and the state.
“It has really been a heartwarming community effort to protect our most vulnerable residents in the city of Minneapolis,” she said.
Cunningham, who was not present at Friday’s meeting, also praised the ordinance’s passage in a statement.
“Today, Minneapolis has officially taken on the moral responsibility of protecting our children and young people from the abuse of conversion ‘therapy,’” Cunningham said.
The council also passed a 5-cent fee for plastic and paper bags Friday. While some stores say the fee will cause extra work at the register, advocates say it will cut down on trash and problems with recycling.