Letter: DFL Party cares more about the children

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Time after time, I have heard Rep. Bennett say that she considers her former elementary students her children. Yet time after time, she votes against helping and protecting children.

She recently voted against legislation that would protect children from conversion therapy.

The American Psychological Association has made the following statements:

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1. APA reaffirms its recommendation that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation.

2. APA recommends that ethical practitioners respect the identities for those with diverse gender expressions.

3. APA encourages psychotherapies which affirm individuals’ sexual orientations and gender identities.

4. APA encourages legislation which would prohibit the practice of “reparative” or conversion therapies that are based on the a priori assumption that diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are mentally ill.

The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner issued a report on conversion therapy in 2020, which stated that conversion therapy leads to “psychological and physical pain and suffering. The deep impact on individuals includes significant loss of self-esteem, anxiety, depressive syndrome, social isolation, intimacy difficulty, self-hatred, shame and guilt, sexual dysfunction, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Rep. Bennett is placing her personal beliefs above protecting children, while sowing fear and division by calling the bill an “extreme child therapy proposal” in her legislation update. This bill is far from extreme. So far, 20 states have outlawed conversion therapy.

As a teacher and former school board member, I feel nauseous at Bennett’s callousness and disregard for our children.

I am heartened that the representatives and senators from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party do care about our children and will continue to work hard to protect them.

Angie Hanson
Albert Lea