Legislature Re-Introduces Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors
APPLETON– Directly following a move on Tuesday by the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly, which both took up bills to block a state Department of Safety and Professional Standards rule that would have prohibited so-called conversion therapy, several Wisconsin Legislators revived a bill from last session which prohibits mental health care providers from engaging in conversion therapy efforts with minors. In addition, the bill states that any provider who attempts to change an individual’s gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation would be subject to professional discipline by the credentialing board which oversees their occupation.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy for minors. In recent years, bans have been introduced in numerous other states and local units of government across the country, including a dozen in Wisconsin. Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Cudahy, Shorewood, Racine, Glendale, Sheboygan, Superior, West Allis, Kenosha, and Appleton have taken action to prohibit the practice of conversion therapy in Wisconsin through local ordinances.
Last session, this bill had the support of the City of Milwaukee, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Wisconsin, National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin (NASW-WI), the Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Wisconsin School Social Workers Association, and the YWCA Madison.
Representative Snodgrass, who chairs the LGBTQ Caucus, released the following statement, “This legislation should not be controversial. It is aligned with the position of countless professional organizations including the American Academy Of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association who are better experts than any of Wisconsin’s legislators on what are best practices for ensuring the mental and emotional health of children. We must take a stand against this abusive practice by protecting Wisconsin’s children.”