The Minneapolis City Council on Friday
unanimously approved an ordinance that prohibits therapies that
attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors
who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
According to the Minneapolis Star
Tribune, Mayor Jacob Frey has vowed to sign the legislation “as
soon as it hits [his] desk.”
Passage of the law will make
Minneapolis the first city in Minnesota to prohibit such therapies.
The legislation was co-authored by
Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, a black queer transgender man who has
said he was exposed to such therapies through his church.
“We have a moral obligation to step
up where partisan politics at higher levels of government have failed
our kids,” he said in a statement. “I ask for other cities and
towns to also step up for the children and young people across our
He added that such therapies were
“tantamount to torture.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the
Christian conservative Liberty Counsel, told the Star Tribune
that his group was watching developments in Minneapolis. While
Liberty Counsel has had a mixed record in challenging such bans, it
recently won a court challenge against Tampa's ban.
“It's all political and it's
enforcing an agenda, and at some point in the future, the political
agenda will run head on to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Staver
told the outlet.