MN LGBT Therapists Network News
20+ years of LGBT-friendly mental health networking
vol. V, Issue 8
LGBT Therapists Treasurer Position Covered
Greetings LGBT Therapists! The Steering Committee has decided to hire White Ash, who has developed our website and administered various aspects of membership for nearly 10 years, to fulfill the organization's treasurer and bookkeeping functions.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Dennis Christian for all his years of service. Because of his dedication, LGBT Therapists has become a thriving organization. Please join us in thanking Dennis for all of his kind and generous support.
Happy holidays from all of us at LGBT Therapists to you and yours.
CommunityEthiopian Gay Male Seeking Asylum
I am a Minnesota lawyer representing an Ethiopian gay male in an application for asylum in the U.S. As you may be aware, Ethiopia has some of the most anti-homosexual sentiment in the world. Tragically, in his home country my client was subject to severe discrimination, including enduring several physical assaults, because of his sexual orientation. As a result of his persecution he is dealing with physical and mental health issues. Although he loves his home country and wanted nothing more than to stay, he is deeply traumatized and justifiably terrified about the prospects of having to return.
I took on his case on a volunteer basis (pro bono) through the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. He has a very strong claim for asylum under law and I'm confident we will prevail in having asylum granted. That said, gay refugee issues are still an emerging area in asylum law. Fortunately the Obama administration has made some positive steps in this area, but there is still much work to do.
I'm reaching to your organization to assist us in documenting my client's case. Would you please contact me at your earliest convenience?
Best Regards, Benjamin Wagner (612) 356-3991 email
In The News
CA Bans Sexual Orientation Change Efforts for Minors
From the National Juvenile Defender Center. In October 2012 California Governor Brown signed SB 1172, authored by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), making California the first state to ban sexual orientation change efforts for minors. The new law provides that "Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age" and that "Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject a mental health provider to discipline by the licensing entity for that mental health provider."
This law bans the harmful practice of what is sometimes called "gay conversion" or "reparative" therapy, a practice which has been found to pose critical health risks by major mental health professional associations such as the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, and others.
Text of SB1172
Press release from NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights), co-sponsor of the bill
Press Release from Equality California, co-sponsor of the bill
Governor Brown also signed another Equality California-sponsored bill to make foster care safer and more supportive for LGBT youth. Assembly Bill 1856 requires cultural competency and best practices training for serving LGBT youth.
Text of AB 1856
Press release from Equality California regarding AB 1856