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Ann Arbor Lawmakers Proposes Ban On Gay 'Conversion Therapy' For Minors

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Michigan could soon ban gay "conversion therapy" for minors.

State Representative Adam Zemke from Ann Arbor introduced a bill last week that would prohibit health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.

Sandi Smith is the president of the Jim Toy Center, a resource for Washtenaw County's LGBT community.

She says they are glad lawmakers are moving this issue forward.

"This is part of the package of rights and responsibilities that we need to keep working at," Smith says.  "A lot of the energy right now and the headlines are focused on gay marriage, but to have pieces of acceptance in place like this is really important."

The American Psychological Association released a report in 2009 calling attempts to change an individual's sexual orientation 'ineffective.' The report also said those efforts can cause depression and suicidal thoughts and other harmful side effects for patients.

Taylor Pinson is a WEMU news reporter and engineer during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
Taylor Pinson is a WEMU news reporter and engineer during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.