Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will sign an executive order on Thursday bypassing the state legislature and banning the controversial practice of “gay conversion therapy.”
Walz, a Democrat, is should sign the order alongside Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan Thursday morning in defiance of the Republican-held state Senate, which does not support the move, local media reported.
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Homosexual conversion therapy, which generally aims to change the sexual orientation of homosexual people to heterosexuals through intense therapy, has been banned from use with minors in at least 20 states.
The gay conversion therapy debate has been has been raging in Minnesota for over 14 years, and LGBT advocacy groups have long argued that the practice is abusive, especially when minors are involved.
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“There is not enough evidence to support the use of conversion therapy, and not only that, but that it has harmful effects in many cases, and those harmful effects are depression, anxiety. , involvement in high-risk behavior, suicidal thoughts, feelings and attempts, increased self-hatred, negative perceptions of same-sex attractions ”, says Dr Margaret Charmoli, former president of the Minnesota Psychological Association. “So there’s just a lot of bad things coming out of it.”
Many Republicans across the country, including Minnesota, opposed the ban, arguing that it infringes on religious freedom.
Walz has sharply criticized the controversial practice in recent months and promised last spring that it would end in Minnesota at some point.
“The idea that this absolutely discredited and tortured Byzantine way of telling our children that they are not who they are has to stop and will end,” Walz said last year.
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Governor Walz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
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