On May 1, the State Senate GOP killed a proposal earlier passed by the House that would have banned the practice of so-called "conversion therapy" for minors.

"Conversion therapy" is, of course, meant to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Parents who are uncomfortable with their LGBTQ children use it as a way of trying to "correct" them, as if the problem is with the children for being who they are and not the parents for refusing to accept them.

It was recently revealed by the Star Tribune that Paul Gazelka, Senator for this district and GOP majority leader, has a personal connection to the practice his caucus upheld - he had his child, Genna Gazelka, sent to a conversion therapy clinic as a teenager. They described the experience as "harassment and tantamount to... torture or sexual torture."

For his part, Senator Gazelka says he wants a "compromise" that would preserve the rights of therapist to "speak freely with their patients" about "unwanted sexual attraction."

It's worth noting that Gazelka described the purpose of sending Genna to the clinic (that Genna called "torture") as "therapy."

Gazelka, who won his seat by primarying an openly gay Republican, also supported a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Minnesota deserves better than a man who sanctions anti-LGBTQ bigotry and is willing to send his own children to suffer abuse in conversion therapy clinics. No amount of mealy-mouthed talk about "compromise" can make rejecting a ban on conversion therapy okay.

This will not be forgotten.

Kevin Klawitter

Staples