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Disclaimer: Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change one’s perceived sexual orientation or gender identity to heterosexuality. It has nothing to do with the practice of actually changing one’s gender.

Now that that is out of the way, I want to provide an update on the bill that would ban conversion therapy for minors in the state of Iowa.

That bill received a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday morning, but it failed to receive support from any of the three legislators on the subcommittee.

Rep. Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) essentially said the bill did not go far enough. Rep. Joe Mitchell (R-Mount Pleasant) said he thinks lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights and issues “should be bipartisan.”

Mitchell said he and Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) thought it was a good idea to have the subcommittee to have a discussion and receive consensus.

“Obviously there’s work to do,” Mitchell said. “I just think it’s important we’re recognizing the bipartisan manner and how we should act dealing with these issues.”

Kaufmann, who sponsored the bill and spoke at a fundraiser late last year for GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force to ban conversion therapy, essentially killed the bill. But, he added:

“I’m going to pledge to publicly continue to work on this issue,” he said. “To continue to have these conversations so that everybody, no matter what side you’re on, feels like you have a voice in crafting this conversation.”

Author: Jacob Hall