Bill introduced would ban gay conversion therapy for minors in Michigan

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Some Michigan lawmakers are pushing to end a controversial form of therapy.

A democrat from Ann Arbor introduced a bill last week that would ban so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Michigan. The practice has already been banned in several states, including New Jersey, California and New York.

It's an issue that's been causing controversy for quite some time. Some say the side effects of conversion therapy include suicide, depression and lack of confidence while others say anything is possible through the love of Christ.

It's a controversial question under debate in certain circles; can homosexuality be cured?

Some religious groups, who strongly believe things can be fixed through the love of Christ, are holding conferences this summer across the country on how to turn gay people straight.

Jay Maddock, of Kalamazoo's Gay and Lesbian Resource Center says his friend went through gay conversion therapy. He says he believes it's ineffective at best, and at worst, dangerous.

"It damaged the relationship with his parents and it damaged a lot of his life," said Maddock. "Luckily for him and the rest of the world, he made it through and is still gay."

Now, some lawmakers in the Michigan state house are working on a bill that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors, eliminating any efforts by mental health professionals to change gender identity, behavior, or romantic attractions.

Maddock says the consequences of such conversion therapies are devastating.

"We have LGBT people who are taking their lives because they don't feel worthy enough, and they don't feel good enough," said Maddock, "that should be our focus."

Currently the bill has thirteen co-sponsors in the house. It has been referred to the Committee on Health Policy.