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Whitmer signs bills to ban conversion therapy on minors

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills to ban medical professionals from performing "conversion therapy" on youths in Michigan.

The bills take effect in October.

Conversion therapy is a medically discredited practice used in an effort to change a person's sexuality or gender identity.

“Since day one, I have made it clear that hate has no home in Michigan," Whiter said after the signing. "My administration is committed to addressing the systemic barriers faced by young LGBTQ+ Michiganders so that our state is a place where they are able to reach their full potential. The actions we take today will serve as a starting point in protecting our LGBTQ+ youth from the damaging practice of conversion therapy and in ensuring that Michigan is a reflection of true inclusion."

Medical professionals who violate the ban could lose their license.

Opponents to the ban said it's too vague and broad. Rep. Kathy Schmaltz (R-Jackson) said, “Threatening mental health professionals with punishment if they cross a vague and confusing line is wrong."

"I offered an amendment that would have provided much-needed clarity to the convoluted and confusing definition contained in this legislation, but that amendment was defeated. Without any additional clarity, I cannot support these bills. In addition, kids must be allowed to speak freely during therapy about whatever is weighing on their hearts and minds," Schmaltz said.

Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.
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