Youth LGBTQ+ conversion therapy banned in Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation this week preventing conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth.

"We are banning the horrific practice of conversion therapy in Michigan and ensuring this is a state where you can be who you are," Whitmer said. "As a mom of a member of the community and a proud, lifelong ally, I am grateful that we are taking action to make Michigan a more welcoming, inclusive place."

The new laws prohibit state-licensed medical providers from performing conversion therapy on 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.

The bills were introduced in the House and Senate by Sen. Mallory McMorrow and Reps Jason Hoskins and Felicia Brabec.

"This legislation will protect our young LGBTQ+ Michiganders, but also their parents, who deserve to know that when they hire a licensed mental health professional, that professional is operating only with reputable practices and in the best interest of their child, not inflicting harm on them," McMorrow said.