Bad News Bachmann! Minn. Could Be Next to Ban Conversion Therapy
Bad news, Marcus Bachmann. A Minneapolis state representative introduced a bill Monday in the state legislature to ban gay conversion therapy in Minnesota. If passed, the Gopher State will join California and New Jersey in banning the discredited practice, the Fridley Patch reports.
"We have such high rates of suicide, substance abuse, homelessness and I think it stems from difficulties families experience when one of their children comes out and they seek professional services and they're susceptible to these types of practices especially if they may come from a Christian based approach," Rep. Susan Allen said in an interview with Julie Bartkey on local PBS affiliate's "Capital Report" about the proposed legislation.
If passed, Allen's bill would prohibit licensed practitioners from practicing conversion therapy to minors. Disciplinary action for non compliance would be determined by state licensing boards.
"We don't dictate the terms of what the discipline should be, but we do deem it that it is prohibited and that it is something that needs to be regulated," Allen said.
Challenges to overturn conversion therapy bans on the grounds of First Amendment rights of free speech and religion have failed in both California and New Jersey.
"We're not infringing on someone's beliefs," Allen said, "we're just saying that the type of practice that is currently being engaged in by some practitioners is harmful and that needs to be stopped."
All of this could spell bad news for Minnesota's most famous practitioner of conversion therapy, Marcus Bachmann, husband of U.S. Congresswoman and former GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, The Fridley Patch reports
In 2011, Marcus Bachmann acknowledged that therapists in his Christian counseling business will offer conversion therapy to those who want it-although he said the practice, which was renamed Counseling Care in December, is not focused on converting gays to heterosexuality. Reparative therapy is not listed as a counselor specialty on their website .