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Conversion therapy would be banned in Michigan under new legislation in the state house

Michigan State Capitol

New legislation in the state house would ban the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation through therapy.

Sixteen states already ban the practice, and the American Psychiatric Association has voiced opposition since 1998, saying no credible evidence exists that any mental health intervention can reliably and safely change sexual orientation.

Democratic State Representative Yousef Rabhi introduced the measure. He said there are some mental health professionals who still provide conversion therapy. Rahbi said his bill would discipline those professionals.

“So they would be disciplined in the same way that they would be for other violations of the mental health code and their professional licensing guidelines.”

That disciplining could go as far as terminating licensure and ensuring that a mental health professional who offers conversion therapy is banned from practicing in Michigan.

Rabhi said banning the practice is important for protecting members of the LGBTQ community.

“It has been disproven by science time and time again and is really an unacceptable and shockingly cruel practice that is still legal and is still engaged in today.”

Rabhi said similar legislation has been introduced in previous sessions.

He said there is strong Democratic support, but Republicans have traditionally opposed banning the practice.