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Posted on: November 16, 2021

City Council Approves Conversion Therapy Ban

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In a unanimous decision November 8, City of Roseville council members voted to ban “conversion therapy” within the city.

In a unanimous decision November 8, City of Roseville council members voted to ban conversion therapy within the city.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is most often practiced on minors and other vulnerable adults who may be unable to consent to the therapy.

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The vote was proposed to the Human Rights Inclusion and Engagement Commission (HRIEC) in April by a concerned citizen. After six months of engagement and public comment on the ordinance, the council voted on the ban this week. 

There are times as a council, and times as a city where we’ll maybe step forward and do something that maybe frankly has more symbolic effect,” said Council member Robert Willmus.  “The bigger thing they come back to is, ‘Hey that really is something… that says that Roseville is a welcoming community, welcoming to all-- and as I look at our youth, I see that frankly this is a really important message to send.

This vote signifies a lot of work done by some very involved people in our community. ” says Thomas Brooks, Equity and Inclusion Manager with the City of Roseville. “We want people-- especially young people-- to know that they can feel safe from this type of tool being used against their wishes.Assistant City Manager, Rebecca Olson agrees. “You know, it’s one thing to make a proclamation affirming equality for our LGBTQ+ residents. This is a great way to show that our commitment goes far beyond that, to some real action.

Bans such as the one that was passed in Roseville on Monday are becoming more common. Currently eight other cities in the state of Minnesota have passed similar bans. 

The Minnesota House has brought the item up in bills as early as 2019, it is currently going through the legislative process. 

In July, Governor Walz signed an executive order restricting conversion therapy from use of Medicaid reimbursement, but this ordinance goes a step further to restrict use in the city-- an important distinction.

Brooks says he hopes this is just the beginning of the HRIEC’s success. We are excited by the involvement of Roseville residents on this issue. We hope that this is just the beginning for citizens who want to be engaged in their community, to step forward and be part of the solution.

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The City of Roseville currently has eight commissions that residents can be involved in. If you would you like to be involved in decisions like this, join the Human Rights Inclusion and Engagement Commission! Contact Thomas Brooks, or visit Roseville.gov to find out more about other citizen engagement opportunities.

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