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Minnesota ban on so-called "ex-gay therapy" fails to pass

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Legislation that would ban so-called "ex-gay" therapy failed to pass in the Minnesota Legislature.

Earlier this year the bill that would ban "conversion therapy" for minors seemed likely to advance, especially a year after the MN Legislature passed marriage equality. The deadline for the bill, however, expired last week causing the bill to die. Ex-gay groups put a lot of pressure on legislators to stop the bill. They sent petitions and emails to lawmakers, as well as appearing on conservative radio.

“The bill is officially dead for this session as it has missed committee deadlines,” Gabe Aderhold told TheColu.mn. Aderhold worked with University of Minnesota student Alec Fischer to push for the bill. Both created a petition that gathered more than 114,000 signatures, which urged lawmakers to ban so-called "ex-gay" therapies for minors. They were successful in introducing the bill to this session.

California and New Jersey have enacted similar laws, as well as other states who are considering similar legislation.

The votes were there in the Senate committee, but Tina Liebling, chair of the Health and Human Service Policy Committee in the House would not let the bill be heard. She simply said that there was a lack of time as her reasoning for not hearing the bill.

“With further investigation, Alec and I found that dozens of emails were being sent to lawmakers from folks around the country asking lawmakers to kill the bill before committee,” Aderhold said.

The next step is to raise more awareness and build broader support. Aderhold says that they will be back during the 2015 legislative session. The only downside to waiting a whole other year is that more children will be subjected to this so-called "therapy," and the risk of having the GOP come into the majority. But they are still hopeful that it is something they can work with.

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