As leftist politicians and activists continue pushing for increased access to transgender therapy for minors, there has been significant pushback from conservatives and moderates who oppose such life-altering and largely unproven procedures.
In Michigan, Democratic lawmakers have taken the ideology one step further by passing a bill banning therapists from encouraging children who believe they are transgender to reconsider their decision before pursuing social, medical, and/or hormonal intervention.
This week, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a pair of bills into law, thus codifying the state-level prohibition.
As a mom of a member of the community and a proud, lifelong ally, I’m grateful that today we’re banning the horrific practice of conversion therapy in Michigan.
In doing so, we are taking action to make Michigan a more welcoming, inclusive place. pic.twitter.com/5r5Ts3OgyO
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) July 26, 2023
The first bill introduced earlier this year proposed a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” involving minors. An amendment went on to define the term as a “practice or treatment by a mental health professional that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behavior or gender expression or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward an individual of the same gender.”
In order to further clarify that “conversion” from one gender to another is still perfectly acceptable, the bill noted that the now-illegal therapy “does not include counseling that provides assistance to an individual undergoing a gender transition, counseling that provides acceptance, support or understanding of an individual or facilitates an individual’s coping, social support, or identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral intervention … as long as the counseling does not seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The passage of these bills drew backlash from state Republicans, who were unable to stop its implementation due to their minority status in the legislature.
“I cannot in good faith vote for misguided legislation that potentially harms our children,” asserted state Rep. Donni Steele. “Kids should not be expected to make such difficult decisions. The child’s parents, in consultation with qualified medical professionals, are better qualified to make important decisions regarding a child’s development – not lawmakers in Lansing.”
For his part, state Rep. Neil Friske expressed concern that the broad new prohibition could turn therapists who are “simply upholding natural law and refusing to buy into the new age left-wing gender schemes” into criminals.