LETTER: Questions for Sen. Isaacson on conversion therapy bill

To the Editor:


With regard to the bill that bans certain forms of counseling, I have questions:

1. You advocate freedom for women to have abortions (with assistance), but want to deny GLBTQ people the same freedom to change their sexual orientation (with assistance). Why the contradiction?

2. Why are legislators capable of deciding for others what ideas or practices they may not consider? Doesn’t this abridge freedom of speech and conscience? 

3. Will the logic of this restriction on freedom of thought and behavior come back to haunt us someday? What if future legislators decide other ideas, religions and practices must also be protected so that no one can persuade or counsel others to abandon them?  

4. How will you counter those who use ad hominem arguments to attack the motives of people like me who believe the proposed law not only infringes on basic human freedoms, but is a slippery slope that excuses large areas of thought and practice from critique and rational evaluation? For example, I have over the years observed some radical Muslims go to great lengths in policy discussions at the University of Minnesota to forbid any criticism or critique of Islamic thought.

5. Why do so many of your allies insist that people like me (an evangelical) should be forbidden from “imposing our religion on others,” while it is obvious that your allies happily impose their secular views on the rest of us? 


Robert Osburn



Editor’s note: On Jan. 17, District 42 Sen. Jason Isaacson, along with other senators, introduced SF261, a bill that would, according to www.revisor.mn.gov, “prohibi[t] conversion therapy with children or vulnerable adults; prohibiting medical assistance coverage for conversion therapy; prohibiting the misrepresentation of conversion therapy services or products ...” The bill defines conversion therapy as “any practice by a mental health practitioner or mental health professional ... that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.” A House version of the bill made it out of committee Feb. 13.

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