0718 poll results

The Free Press

A majority of area respondents say state officials were right to restrict conversion therapy in Minnesota, according to a Free Press online question.

Out of 240 total respondents, 173 voters support Gov. Tim Walz’s recent executive order banning conversion therapy for youth under 18 and ordering insurance plans not to cover the debunked procedure. Only 67 people disagreed.

Walz called the controversial practice “byzantine” and “torturous” when he signed the executive order Thursday.

DFL lawmakers tried to ban the practice, in which LGBTQIA+ residents are coerced to “convert” to heterosexual behavior, in 2019 but faced Republican opposition at the time. DFL officials say they hope to build on Walz’s order during next year’s legislative session.

Minnesota is now among 24 states that have restricted or banned the practice.

The Free Press online question, sent out Friday, asked, “Do you support Gov. Tim Walz’s executive action restricting conversion therapy?”

There were two options to answer, “yes” or “no.”

Commenters largely applauded the governor’s order, though one person questioned whether the governor was overreaching with his authority. A majority of commenters called for conversion therapy to be banned throughout the state.

“It is time that we recognize that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not a choice but is an innate trait,” Linda Good wrote. “A person’s orientation or gender identity cannot be changed without losing one’s identity and true self. Conversion therapy was a cruel and dangerous scientifically unproven method to deny that there is diversity in this aspect of life.”

Irene Christensen wrote, “Conversion therapy is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental health disorders (DSM-5). Homosexuality and gender-diverse identities are not pathological disorders and conversion therapy assumes that they are. The LGBTQ population is diverse and comes from every racial, socioeconomic and geographical background. People like to say LGBTQ choose their sexual orientation. I don’t believe that. Another comment I hear people make is ‘God doesn’t make mistakes.’ These people are not a mistake. What about people who are born with physical disabilities?”

Dave Johnson wrote, “I can’t define a black and white boundary for unilateral decisions by one office in government. He doesn’t decide who can/cannot smoke tobacco, who can/cannot practice birth control, or what method, and the list goes on. So why on this subject?”

Paul Brandon wrote, “As a mental health professional, I know that so-called conversion therapy is at best quackery, and at worst physically harmful to its victims. It is an expression of homophobia. It should not only be restricted; it should be made illegal. That would be a task for the Legislature. the governor has done what he can.”

Mary Kortuem wrote, “Conversion therapy is cruel and child abuse. (It) could easily lead to suicide.”

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