Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate shut down debate on conversion therapy on Wednesday, and acted to allow the controversial and discredited practice to continue in the state.
Republican legislation preventing the Evers administration from enacting rules prohibiting conversion therapy from being offered by licensed therapists was sent back to committee, over protests of Democrats like Senator Mark Spreitzer. “Every day that this bill sits in committee, conversion therapy hurts more kids,” the Beloit lawmaker said.
Studies from the medical community prove that conversion therapy doesn’t work and it is deeply harmful. I am incredibly disappointed in today’s vote by Senate Republicans to allow conversion therapy to continue in Wisconsin.
— Sen. Mark Spreitzer (@SenSpreitzer) March 22, 2023
Like Spreitzer, Milwaukee Democrat, Sen Tim Carpenter is gay. “The bottom line in my opinion – fear, ignorance is winning on the Senate floor today, and I’m embarrassed by that,” Carpenter said.
After three sessions this issue deserves a public hearing, debate, and a vote on legislation to ban conversion therapy. The GOP can’t be allowed to use the rules process again to continue holding back progress for the next four years.
— Tim Carpenter (@TimCarpenterMKE) March 22, 2023
The partisan action effectively shelves the issue for the remainder of the legislative session, meaning conversion therapy may continue in Wisconsin. No Senate Republicans spoke to the issue during Wednesday’s floor session.