Evidence shows that conversion therapy is psychologically damaging to those victimized by it, but Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says he thinks it still has a place at the table and should be legal. He argues that people become gay due to bad parenting and sexual abuse.
In an interview on the Truth & Liberty podcast, co-hosted by televangelist Andrew Wommack, one panelist asked him how to fight state bans on conversion therapy.
LGBTQNation reports that Gazelka incorrectly stated a ban would prohibit counselors and pastors from talking to young people “about their sexual feelings and identity.”
And if a young person decides to talk to a counselor about “unwanted same-sex attraction” the ban instructs professionals to not offer help, “just, you know, wing it.”
But a proposed Minnesota conversion therapy ban only applies to state-licensed mental health professionals — not pastors. And that’s not all: it only bans them from trying to change a patient’s sexual orientation; help can still be provided for people struggling to accept themselves.
Gazelka said he still considers homosexuality a sin and he cited his daughter Genna as an example. Genna identifies as non-binary and uses the pronoun “they.” After being sent to the clinic run by Marcus Bachmann, the husband of former Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) they reported it was a horrible experience that was “tantamount to what could be said of torture or sexual torture.”
Gazelka claimed he sent Genna there for “healing” not for conversion therapy.
He also recounted a story he heard about a lesbian who endured years of physical abuse by her father — a “deeper backstory” that he thinks likely contributed to her sexuality.
Some Minnesota Democrats are outraged by Gazelka’s comments regarding the controversial therapy.
“The bigoted beliefs Gazelka expressed in this interview are exactly the attitudes that made it so difficult for me to come out and still make it hard for LGBT Minnesotans to simply be who we are,” the party said in a statement. “Paul Gazelka cannot claim to love the LGBT community while fueling the homophobia that causes our community t9 face heightened rates of depression and suicidal ideation.”
Featured image via Minnesota State Senate