Youth LGBTQ+ conversion therapy ban proposed by Michigan lawmakers
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Michigan lawmakers introduced a package of bills Thursday that would prohibit conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth.
Conversion therapy is defined by WebMD as "any emotional or physical therapy used to ‘cure’ or ‘repair’ a person’s attraction to the same sex, or their gender identity and expression."
However, there is no evidence that shows this works, and medical experts say it could contribute to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ youth who have been subjected to conversion therapy are twice as likely to report attempting suicide than those peers who have not.
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The bills, SB 348, SB 349, HB 4616, and HB 4617, would prohibit state-licensed medical providers from performing conversion therapy on youth. They were introduced in the House and Senate by Sen. Mallory McMorrow and Reps Jason Hoskins and Felicia Brabec.
"It is deeply inspiring to see Michigan lawmakers unite to spark important progress on LGBTQ protections and cut through the noise of today’s heated national political climate. So-called conversion ‘therapy’ — which has been denounced by every leading professional medical and mental health association and has been consistently associated with poor mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk — has no place in our society," said Gwen Stembridge, the advocacy campaign manager with The Trevor Project.
Twenty-one states and Washington D.C. have laws banning conversion therapy. In Michigan, several cities ban conversion therapy, including Ann Arbor, Berkley, East Lansing, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Madison Heights, and Royal Oak.
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According to a 2022 study from the Trevor Project, 10% of Michigan LGBTQ+ youth reported being threatened with conversion therapy, while 5% were subjected to conversion therapy.
The Trevor Project's crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678678.