ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued one of the strongest executive orders in the country protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The order directs the Minnesota Departments of Health, Commerce, Human Services, and Human Rights to take appropriate steps to prohibit payment for conversion therapy for minors and vulnerable adults by any provider receiving state funds or private health insurers.
“We applaud Governor Walz for his leadership in protecting LGBTQ youth and their families from this deadly practice,” said Mathew Shurka, a survivor of conversion therapy and co-founder of Born Perfect, a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy. “This is one of the strongest executive orders in the country and reflects Governor Walz’s understanding that the harms caused by conversion therapy are devastating.
“My own family endured five years of unethical harm and deceit as unscrupulous conversion therapists divided and shamed us. This order will help to ensure that other families are protected and that no young person in Minnesota is subjected to this discredited practice, which has been condemned by mental health professionals as dangerous quackery that puts young people at risk of suicidality and other serious harms.”
Twenty states and DC have enacted laws protecting minors from conversion therapy, and four states, now including Minnesota, have issued executive orders directing state agencies to enforce existing state law health, safety, anti-discrimination, and consumer fraud provisions to address this abuse.
“We at OutFront are incredibly grateful to Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan for protecting LGBTQ+ youth and their families from conversion therapy,” said James Darville, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota. “We also want to thank all of the survivors, organizers, and Minnesotans who have worked tirelessly to eradicate this harmful practice in our state. We Look forward to continuing our work alongside legislators, Governor Walz, and his team to make Minnesota a more equitable place for all Minnesotans.”
Born Perfect has identified more than 2,500 conversion therapy providers nationally, including more than 40 in Minnesota. UCLA’s Williams Institute found in 2018 that more than 698,000 American adults have endured conversion therapy since childhood. As survivors and legal experts, we strongly support legislative and regulatory action to protect youth from these dangerous and discredited practices.
Born Perfect is a survivor-led program created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country that protect LGBTQ children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices. https://bornperfect.org