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Walz to sign executive order banning LGBTQ conversion therapy for children

Gov. Tim Walz will sign the executive order Thursday.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will sign an executive order Thursday banning the practice of conversion therapy for children.

The executive order would ban minors from being subjected to the controversial practice of conversion therapy, which aims to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Walz will sign the executive order Thursday morning, followed by a press conference.

According to the Trevor Project, conversion therapy usually attempts to change one’s identity from lesbian, gay or bisexual to straight or from transgender or nonbinary to cisgender. The practice can involve both physical and mental treatments.

The practice has also come under fire in the medical community for its potential harm to children.

According to a 2018 study from the Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health, youth who underwent conversion therapy were twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.

This is not the first time officials have looked to ban the practice in Minnesota.

In 2019, a DFL-sponsored bill would have prevented state money from going toward the practice and forbid providers from using it to treat children and vulnerable adults.

The bill failed in the Republican-controlled Senate, with some lawmakers calling it a government overstep.

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The vote promoted the now-adult child of Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka to speak out about their own experience with conversion therapy as a teen.

Genna Gazelka told the Star Tribune the experience was "tantamount to what could be said of torture or sexual torture."

Paul Gazelka said he did send Genna to therapy as a teen, but argued it was for "healing" and not conversion, the newspaper said.

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