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March 18, 2021


Senator Tim Carpenter:


Sen. Carpenter and others Reintroduce Legislation to Ban Conversion Therapy in Wisconsin


(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the legislation that he and a bipartisan group of legislators circulated which would ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors across our state:

“I am very happy to announce that a bipartisan group of my colleagues and I are introducing legislation to ban the practice of conversion therapy from being used on minors in Wisconsin. This legislation has been proposed for several sessions now, although unfortunately it has not been taken up or even given a public hearing, despite the overwhelming evidence that such therapy is harmful to the patient.

“Professional therapists and counselors know that conversion therapy does not work and in fact does severe harm to the patients that are subjected to this medieval practice which is recognized as torture by the United Nations and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims. That is why, for years, therapists, counselors and social workers in Wisconsin have been trying to include conversion therapy and gender discrimination in their category of unprofessional conduct.

“I commend them for taking this action to rein in harmful practices in their professional scope, and am ashamed that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have done everything in their power to prevent these professionals from taking this action. This week, Republicans in the State Senate and Assembly used byzantine rules procedures to stop the therapists, counselors, and social workers of Wisconsin from doing what they know is right. My colleagues’ actions are cowardly, and do harm to the good people that they have sworn to serve.

“I ask for the support of my fellow legislators to pass this policy to protect Wisconsin’s youth from being subjected to the debunked and unethical practice of conversion therapy. This should have been accomplished years ago, and every day we wait is another day that our fellow Wisconsinites may be subjected to this inhuman practice. My gratitude goes out to the 20 U.S. States and 12 Wisconsin cities that have taken action to prohibit conversion therapy, but now it is time for our whole state to stand up and do what is right by its people.

“It is only by accepting each other for who we are, and taking actions to help individual Wisconsinites reach their full potential, that our state will be able to reach its full potential.”