Minnesota Catholic Conference Response to Governor Walz’s Counseling Ban

Governor Tim Walz’s executive order denies young people who struggle with gender discordance and same-sex attraction access to the psychological sciences to help them live in harmony with their bodies and with a healthy, rightly ordered sexuality that promotes human flourishing.  It is a counseling ban that targets a broad spectrum of speech and viewpoints he does not like.  In his view, kids are allegedly able to consent to puberty blockers and permanent body-altering drugs and surgeries, but supposedly need to be protected from seeking a counselor. 

As the broader culture promotes sex transition (an impossibility) as a cure for young people today struggling with all sorts of psychological wounds and mental health challenges, Gov. Walz shuts off access to needed counseling services and instead forces kids into seeking hormone treatments, surgery, and other “gender-affirming treatments.”  Under the counseling ban, therapists and families are prevented from working together to address the underlying psychological issues and trauma of which same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria are often symptoms. 

In doing so, Gov. Walz merely emboldens gender ideologues and enriches pharmaceutical companies and unethical doctors—all of whom prey on young people by promoting these irrational ideologies and harmful body-altering practices. 

Instead, Minnesota should do what Great Britain has done and ban sex-change surgeries for minors because of their inability to properly consent to permanent physical alterations.  That is the real “conversion therapy” that needs to be stopped.

Certainly, there have been specific false advertising and therapeutic practices used in the past that should be banned, but those are already governed by licensing regulations and deceptive trade practices laws. 

We will work with any families or counselors who wish to bring a lawsuit challenging state or municipal counseling bans and connect them with the appropriate legal representation.  And the Catholic Church will continue to provide spiritual accompaniment to young people and their families so that they can find peace with their bodies and embrace an integrated sexual identity. 

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