Under HF0012, introduced by Representative Hunter Cantrell (DFL- Savage), any therapy, trade, or commerce that seeks to alter an individual’s sexual orientation would be prohibited. Bratrud says this legislation “would be a step backward for freedom of speech and religious freedom” as it doesn’t allow for freedom of healthcare choice.
Many spoke up about their own personal experiences with conversion therapy and explained how it is not coercive or abusive. Nate Oyloe with Door of Hope Ministries spoke of his desire to bring his sexual identity into an agreement with his faith. He also powerfully stated “nobody in this room support coercive or abusive therapy modalities. Our hearts break for those who have”
Trade or commerce associated with ‘conversion therapy’ would also be banned. This includes ticketed events like Christian conferences that Jeff Evans, Pastor of Christ Church Twin Cities, says he often speaks at, discussing topics like same-sex attraction. Now, Evans says, he cannot exercise his ministry without “fear of it being criminalized.”
This also calls into question transgender identifying individuals. The majority of trans-identifying youth do not continue to identify as so into adulthood but HF0012 makes the only therapy option for “kids with transgender feelings to pursue is social and medical transition” as Emily Zinos from Ask Me First MN stated. This would include gender reassignment surgery which would permanently sterilize the child. If the aim of this piece of legislation is to prevent harm to children “then this bill misses the mark” Zinos stated.
“By compelling therapists not to explore certain avenues of treatment the bill is an unconstitutional policing of free speech and of religious expression” Bratrud concludes. MFC is confident the bill will not pass through the senate, but are anxiously awaiting to see if the house will proceed with pushing this unconstitutional bill.
Watch the press conference below
Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.