'People have left the lifestyle': Pro-spanking Republican says conversion therapy ban enables 'pedophilia'

'People have left the lifestyle': Pro-spanking Republican says conversion therapy ban enables 'pedophilia'
Image via screengrab.

Last year, the Minnesota House Preventative Health Policy Division approved a bill that bans conversion therapy in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. The practice has long been decried as torture and is prohibited in nearly half the country.

"Mental health professionals would be prohibited from providing conversion therapy to vulnerable adults and clients under age 18," Minnesota Public Radio reported on March 2nd, 2022.

The full measure passed the Minnesota House of Representatives in February 2023. Democratic Governor Tim Walz noted that he intends to sign it if it clears the Republican-dominated State Senate.

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But religious conservatives, like Minnesota State Senator Glenn Gruenhagen (R-17th District), who has a history of attacking LGBTQ+-identifying individuals, maintain otherwise.

In 2016, Gruenhagen sent a letter to local newspapers in which he called for "outlawing transgender-inclusive workplaces" and "claimed that thousands of people have left the 'homosexual lifestyle' and that 'transgenders' should get counseling, not sympathy," according to a contemporaneous article in The Column.

"At the end of his letter," the outlet noted, Gruenhagen "demonstrates a profound misunderstanding about both sexual orientation and gender identity while at the same time labeling transgender people as 'confused' and needing 'professional counseling.'"

Since then, Gruenhagen has remained steadfastly opposed to restrictions on conversion therapy and even proposed renaming it to fit his illegitimate narrative.

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"We're not trying to attack people per se, as much as to address behaviors and the opportunity to get the type of counseling you want," he said in 2022.

Greunhagen is still at it. In a recent conversation with a member of the clergy, Gruenhagen insisted that banning conversion therapy enables the "grooming" of young people into sexual predators.

"On conversion, we need to insert the government into it and prevent the doctor-patient relationship from whatever that is. If the person is struggling with, with some of those, uh, uh, behaviors and desires, we want to insert government and say to the counselor or, or to the, uh, therapist, you cannot try to, to tell him that what he's doing isn't right. You must reinforce his behavior," said Gruenhagen, who in 2014 opposed an anti-bullying law in favor of "spanking" instead because he felt that the legislation reeked of fascism.

"And isn't that evil? Ugh," the priest twinged.

"To a certain degree, you almost believe you know that these minors are being groomed for pedophilia," Gruenhagen continued.

"Who knows?" the man of the cloth interjected.

"In other words, you're trapped in this sexual behavior before you should be. And now we want to ban you from even getting any type of information. And it – there is some concern it could even apply to pastors and people outside," Gruenhagen claimed.

"And whatever happened to religious freedom?" the pastor asked.

"Amen," Gruenhagen replied.

"If a 16-year-old wants help from his, uh, counselor or a Christian co – so now you're gonna ban. I mean, this is evil," the faith leader declared.

Gruenhagen then rubbed salt into the metaphysical wounds.

"Personally, I have gay friends. In fact, my first bill that ever got through the House, the Senate, and [ex-]Governor [Mark] Dayton [(D)] signed, I had a, uh, homosexual lobbyist that helped me with that, but I also have former gay friends. Okay? People have left the lifestyle, gotten married, and have children," Gruenhagen added. "So, I mean, the point is the government is coming in with a heavy-handed approach, primarily the DFL and Governor Walz, and saying, you cannot try to help this child who's struggling with these problems."

Watch below or at this link.

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