The online social change website Change.org announced yesterday that Minnesota State Representative Karen Clark plans to introduce a bill that would make Minnesota the third state to ban the discredited and dangerous practice of "ex-gay" therapy, which falsely claims to change patients from gay to straight.
State Senator Scott Dibble, who has publicly considered proposing such a ban himself, is likely to introduce companion legislation in that chamber. Dibble and Clark are both LGBT members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, and both played major roles in passing marriage equality in the Gopher State.
To draft the bill, Clark enlisted the help of Alec Fischer, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota who launched a Change.org petition asking lawmakers to protect children from damaging and fraudulent sexual orientation change efforts (also known as "ex-gay" therapy and "conversion" therapy).
"Minnesota made history earlier this year by legalizing same-sex marriage. How can we be a state that recognizes equality for all couples, yet still sends a message that it's okay to try and cure gay children?" Fischer said. "It's time for Minnesota to make history again, and join New Jersey and California as states that will not tolerate efforts to "cure" sexual orientation among LGBT kids."
Perhaps the most famous Minnesotan who'd be impacted if this proposed bill became law is Marcus Bachmann, the husband of U.S. Representative and former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, whose clinic I exposed in July 2011 for offering "ex-gay" therapy in an undercover hidden-camera investigation.
Let's hope Minnesota lawmakers force Bachmann to get out of the gay "conversion" business for good and put the kibosh on this insidious form of child abuse.