Conversion therapy ordinance adopted
On April 19, the City Council adopted an ordinance that prohibits the practice of conversion therapy on minors and vulnerable adults in Bloomington. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors and vulnerable adults from exposure to the serious harms caused by conversion therapy.
The conversion therapy ordinance is a public health measure that:
- Defines conversion therapy as any practice, conduct or treatment by a provider that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions.
- Includes an exception for clergy and religious leaders and does not apply to providers counseling adults, age 18 and older.
- Prohibits providers who are Minnesota-licensed, certified or registered in professions such as psychiatry and psychology, family therapy, social work or clinical counselors, from practicing conversion therapy.
- Has a civil penalty that fines the provider for each reported violation of the ordinance, and includes a report of the violation to the provider’s licensing board or authority.
The Human Rights Commission began studying this issue at the request of the City Council in 2020 and in January recommended the Council adopt an ordinance based on their research. Research revealed that a significant number of major medical, mental health and child welfare professional associations have denounced and rejected conversion therapy as ineffective, unreliable and unsafe. The conversion therapy ordinance goes into effect on January 3, 2022. For more information, visit blm.mn/hrc or call 952-563-8733.