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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs Two Bills Banning Conversion Therapy For Minors In The State

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed two bills banning conversion therapy for minors in the state. These measures make Michigan the 22nd state to forbid the practice.

Conversion therapy is any attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression to align with homosexual and cisgender norms. A ban on the use of federal and state funds for the practice was put in place by Whitmer in 2021.

One of the bills passed prohibits mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with minors. Any violation of this law will result in the professional facing disciplinary action, including suspension or revoked license.

The other bill defines “conversion therapy” in the state’s mental health code. It explains the term as “any practice of treatment by a mental health professional that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behavior or gender expression to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward an individual of the same gender.”

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LGBTQ rights have been attacked recently as Republican lawmakers set agendas for the upcoming election cycle. Many states have placed restrictions on drag events and public school curriculums that incorporate discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In light of this, Democratic officials have been working to advance protections for this community in “safe” states. Minnesota signed a ban on conversion therapy in April, and Arizona signed an executive order prohibiting resources from being used to support conversion therapy in May.

The two Michigan bills signed on Wednesday are set to take effect in late October.

Ava Lombardi

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