Minnesota House passes bill to ban conversion therapy for kids

A bill banning conversion therapy for children and vulnerable adults in Minnesota has passed the state House of Representatives.

Lawmakers approved the measure by a vote of 81-47 during a Monday evening floor session. A companion bill in the Senate is still under consideration in committee.

The controversial practice, which attempts to change an individual's sexual orientation, has already faced bans in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 2021, Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order intended to limit the practice of conversion therapy in Minnesota but stopped short of an outright ban.

Under the new law, mental health practitioners are banned from attempting conversion therapy on children or vulnerable adults. The law does carve out exceptions for therapy and counseling for someone undergoing a gender transition. The law also bans people from misrepresenting conversion therapy as another form of therapy.

If approved, Minnesota would join 20 other states with similar bans.

Other bills approved

During Monday's session, the House also approved a bill that would prevent scrap dealers from purchasing a catalytic converter not attached to a motor vehicle, unless it contains identified markings that can be used to connect the catalytic converter to a vehicle. The bill also requires scrap metal dealers to collect information from customers to provide to law enforcement and keep in a database.

Lawmakers also approved a separate bill to create an Office for Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls, which would be the first of its kind in the nation. The office would conduct more cold case reviews and require the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to develop a new missing person alert system.

Both bills were passed on a largely bipartisan vote and require action in the Senate.