Minnesota Capitol

Republican Eagle file photo

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order on Thursday, July 15, banning conversion therapy for minors in the state. 

That statewide action comes a year after the Red Wing City Council banned conversion therapy for minors. Winona and West St. Paul approved bans shortly after Red Wing did. Minneapolis did so in January 2020.

Council President Becky Norton and Council member Erin Buss reflected on the statewide ban of conversion therapy. 

“Banning a specific type of therapy, conversion therapy -- that which explicitly sets out to convert a person's sexual or gender identity to heterosexual or cisgender, a minor and that has shown to be ineffective and in fact harmful is in the best interest of the children of our community,” said Norton, who also is an educator. 

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“We want the children, and by extension the adults, in this community to know that they are safe here, their whole authentic selves are welcome here. We should all be able to agree that no therapy should be harmful, and it is our duty to expect our community to protect our citizens and above all our children. We require seat belts to keep children safe, we invest in safe routes to school, this is just one more way we come together to keep children safe. You are safe and welcome here,” she said.

Erin Buss

Buss stated, “Last summer we took a stand to protect the young LGBTQ members of our community by implementing a ban on conversion therapy for minors. We were just the fourth city in Minnesota to do so. I absolutely believe we made the right decision by not waiting for the state to take action. Now, with the governor’s executive order, even more Minnesotans will be safe from this inhumane practice and know they are loved and accepted for who they are.” 

Minnesota is now the 21st state, plus the District of Columbia, to have laws banning conversion therapy for minors. 

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