In a dramatic move, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ratified legislation on Wednesday that bans efforts by therapists to encourage children to accept their biological gender. This is a clear continuation of progressive politicians using contentious issues to undermine parental rights, religious freedom and free speech.
Whitmer’s signing of House Bill 4616 and its corresponding amendment, House Bill 4717, effectively outlaws conversion therapy for minors. However, the bills make allowances for counseling supporting an individual undergoing a gender transition. By definition, this ban could discourage health professionals from treating gender dysphoria or encouraging children to feel comfortable in their biological bodies without fear of legal repercussions.
Transitioning children IS conversion therapy, Gretchen. When will you ban it?? https://t.co/8SeFAfwlqM
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) July 27, 2023
State Rep. Donni Steele (R) voiced her concerns: “Kids should not be expected to make such difficult decisions. The child’s parents, in consultation with qualified medical professionals, are better qualified to make important decisions regarding a child’s development – not lawmakers in Lansing.” Yet, these concerns were overshadowed by the majority Democratic support for the legislation.
By framing the narrative as a protective measure for LGBT youth, proponents of the bill overlook its potential for significant overreach. The law can potentially redefine the roles of parents, health professionals, and the state, with children caught in the middle.
State Rep. Felicia Brabec (D), the bill’s sponsor, claims that the law, which does not prevent transgender conversion therapy, ensures children “express themselves without the fear or threat of damaging pseudo-psychology.” But critics argue that this bill may lead to state-sanctioned bias toward gender transition therapies while curbing therapies that may affirm biological gender.
Here is a local news report that indicates the corporate media slant on eradicating parental rights:
The ratification of these bills, which will take effect in October, places Michigan among 26 other states that have enacted partial or total bans on so-called conversion therapies. Despite the controversy, Whitmer defended her decision, declaring it was part of a broader effort to make “Michigan a more welcoming, inclusive place.” This rhetoric may resonate with some; however, others see it as a dangerous erosion of parental rights, religious freedom, and open dialogue.
How far will the state go to impose its will on the most intimate parts of our lives? These new laws pose this very question. While the debate over conversion therapy is complex and deeply personal, the essential point remains – it is not the government’s role to dictate our children’s identity and guide their development. It is a responsibility that lies with parents to decide what is best for their children.