A researcher who helped lay the scientific foundations for the "ex-gay" movement may have just repudiated his work, but that doesn't mean the Minnesota legislature was in any mood to listen.
Last week, Southwest Minneapolis' state Sen. Scott Dibble saw his effort to stop state Medicaid money from going to controversial "reparative therapy" stopped cold by his colleagues.
The treatment forms the core of some Christian groups' mission, reportedly run by U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann's husband. However, mainstream professional bodies like the American Psychological Association reject the notion that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are diseases to be "cured" with either prayer or traditional psychotherapy, but rather a normal part of being human, and can't be changed.
"My amendment simply says that taxpayers would no longer have to pay the bill for therapies that do real damage to individuals and are based on a particular, narrow religious perspective," Dibble said in a statement.
Dibble had tried to amend an omnibus health policy bill.
"There was virtually no debate at all," Dibble told Patch in an interview.
Video of the vote, available from TheUptake, shows state Sen. Dave Brown (R-Becker) challenging Dibble's amendment.
"I assume by the handout that you have that your feeling is that the power of Jesus Christ doesn't have the power to redeem anyone," Brown said.
Dibble told Patch he doesn't have a clear idea of how many have their reparative therapy paid for through Medicaid, but that he "would guess it's in the tens of thousands."
"Not one single dollar should go to this," Dibble said. "It's ineffective and harmful, and based on a narrow religious point of view. It's a sign of how extreme the Republicans have become."