Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed and executive directive Monday, aimed at stopping conversion therapy on Michigan youth.
The executive directive comes in the middle of Pride month, as Governor Whitmer said a move like this strengthens her administration’s stance on equal rights.
“We’re dedicated to making Michigan a reflection of true inclusion,” said Whitmer.
Whitmer’s Administration has made it a point to protect LGBTQ rights. Monday, she took another step in cutting funding to conversion therapy, the practice of trying to convert gay youth straight.
“Conversion therapies have used electroshock therapy, chemical drugs, hormone administration and even surgeries,” said Erin Knott of Equality Michigan.
Allies and activists spoke on the importance of such a directive and why these conversion therapies are so damaging.
“Most health professions agree that treating something that is not a disorder is unethical,” said Dr. Amorie Robinson, founder of the Ruth Ellis Center, the site of the directive signing.
Not just the actual effects of the process itself but the long term identity and self esteem issues that lead to depression and possibly suicide in these youths.
“The problem is not who these young people are or who they love,” said Dr. Maureen Connoly of the Henry Ford Health System, “It is how the adults in their life choose to either except or reject them.”
This directive merely blocks federal and state dollars to be used to fund the therapies. Any further moves would have to come from the legislature.
“I hope that Michigan will join the 20 other states that have outlawed the practice completely,” said Whitmer, “But what we can do today is to ensure that there are no tax dollars that go towards a practice that has been debunked roundly.”