In 2020, Wisconsin banned conversion therapy, a discredited practice to try to change a person from gay-to-straight. This week, six Wisconsin Republican lawmakers voted to block the ban, over the objection of four democrats.
The excuse Republican State Rep. Adam Neylon gave for reinstating this dangerous form of psychological abuse, is that the Department of Safety and Public Standards “overstepped its bounds crafting public policy by barring conversion therapy.”
So, Neylon thinks it’s inappropriate for the state’s foremost medical and mental health experts to make key decisions on medical and mental health?
I agree with Democratic State Sen. Kelda Roys who said Republicans are “wildly out of step” with the norms for setting professional standards. She said:
“The Legislature is not competent to decide what is professional conduct in a regulated industry.”
Republicans simply aren’t telling the truth. Conversion therapy isn’t legitimate therapy. What it really is, is a religious practice. So, they are attempting to impose their right-wing religion under the guise of pretending they care about procedure and protocol. Who do they think they are fooling?
Matthew Lehner, a 19-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, said it best. He told the committee:
“I am outraged and sick to my stomach that a proposal such as this would even be considered in the year 2023. However, given how the Republican majority has waged war on bodily autonomy, climate science, and queer people over their years of gerrymandered reign, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.”
Nor should it. Republican lawmakers acting reckless and irresponsible is about as surprising as finding cheese curds and custard in Wisconsin.