Whitmer prohibits conversion therapy using MDHHS funds on LGBTQ+ minors

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) —- Today, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2021-3, meaning the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would need to take actions that would prohibit the use of both federal and state funds for conversion therapy on minors.

Whitmer, Lt. Gov Gilchrist, medical and psychological professionals and representatives from the Ruth Ellis Center and Equality Michigan to have a conversation on the impacts of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ youth. Whitmer pushed for a focus of spending taxpayer dollars on evidence-based medical and mental health services.

Additionally, Whitmer called for legislature that will set out a ban on conversion therapy.

Since day one, I have made it clear that hate has no home in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “My administration is committed to addressing the systemic barriers faced by young LGBTQ+ Michiganders so that our state is a place where they are able to reach their full potential. The actions we take today will serve as a starting point in protecting our LGBTQ+ youth from the damaging practice of conversion therapy and in ensuring that Michigan is a reflection of true inclusion.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

According to a release from Governor Whitmer, here are some things to know about conversion therapy:

Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy” refers to any intervention that attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It rests on the false premise that an LGBTQ+ individual’s identity is pathological and must be “repaired” or “fixed.” The nation’s leading medical and mental health organizations oppose the practice of conversion therapy on minors. Not only is conversion therapy ineffectual, it can lead to significant long-term harm, including anxiety, depression, internalized homophobia, self-blame, and higher risk of suicide. LGBTQ+ youth, who may be unable to refuse or resist conversion therapy sought by their parents or guardians, are particularly vulnerable to these harms. 

Lt. Gov Gilchrist said the following of the directive.

“Governor Whitmer’s directive affirms our commitment to support the health, safety, and welfare of Michigan’s LGBTQ+ youth. Every step we take towards equality will impact Michiganders for generations to come, and we are committed to walking on the right side of history,” said Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist. “Members of the LGBTQ+ community face systemic barriers and are often further marginalized by this harmful practice. Our administration is committed to addressing these barriers and making Michigan a reflection of true equality. Governor Whitmer and I will continue to work towards ensuring that hate has no home in Michigan.”  

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist

To read Executive Directive 2021-3, click here.

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