Richfield approves banning conversion therapy for minors, vulnerable adults

The city of Richfield adopted an ordinance at its Tuesday city council meeting that would ban conversion therapy in the city. It is the seventh Minnesota city to do so.

The ordinance, which will go into effect January 2023, defines “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” as “any practice or treatment by a provider that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

“The practice of conversion therapy has been found to lead to critical health risks and inequities including anxiety, depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, self-harm, and suicide,” Richfield City Council shared in its meeting minutes.

The city council also shared a survey conducted by the Trevor Project, which states that 42 percent of LGBTQ+ youth who have been subjected to conversion therapy have attempted suicide, compared to 17 percent in those who have not been subjected to conversion therapy.

Under the new ordinance, anybody who provides conversion therapy to a minor or vulnerable adult will have to pay a $1,000 fee per instance.

Conversion therapy is currently restricted in Minnesota under Executive Order 21-25.

The city of Richfield enacted the ordinance to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults stay in place, according to the meeting minutes.