MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – During a city council meeting Wednesday, St. Paul City Council voted to ban conversion therapy for youth.
Conversion therapy, a practice which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, has been classified as a form of torture by the United Nations. It has also been denounced by medical and mental health professionals.
St. Paul is the third city in Minnesota to ban the debunked therapy, following Minneapolis and Duluth. Though the proposal to ban the practice statewide passed in the House last year, it stopped short at the Republican-controlled Senate.
At the city council meeting, conversion therapy survivors, LGBTQ+ activists, and mental health professionals gave their testimonies.
“Banning conversion ‘therapy’ is necessary and it’s nothing that children should endure,” said Jory Miller, a Conversion Therapy Survivor.
“Legislation is needed to ban conversion therapy,” said Bethel University Psychology professor Andy Johnson. “This is not a religious issue, this is about providing mental health protections to minors.”
The decision came two days after the Supreme Court ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to LGBTQ+ employees, protecting them from discrimination in the workplace.