Legislation (HF 16 - Hollins, DFL – St. Paul), that would prohibit the use of conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18 received its first committee hearing in the Minnesota House of Representatives on January 18.
Similar legislation has passed the House in previous sessions. However, the bill never received a hearing in the Senate during that time, and therefore never became law in Minnesota. With current DFL control of the Minnesota House and Senate, the bill is likely to be heard in both bodies, and is on route to passing this year.
“Conversion therapy can lead to poor self-esteem, self-harm, guilt, anxiety, depression, and possibly suicide, all while being wholly ineffective in its intended purpose,” stated MMA President Will Nicholson, MD, in the MMA’s letter of support for HF 16. “There is no scientific evidence to support a need for conversion therapy. The concept of conversion therapy lacks scientific credibility and clinical usefulness.”
Several specialty medical societies, including the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Pediatricians, and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, also shared letters of support for HF 16.
On a 7-5 party line vote, HF 16 was referred to the Health Finance and Policy Committee.