RED WING -- There is no known conversion therapy taking place in Red Wing, and council members made it clear Monday night that they don't want the practice to begin.
The practice is designed to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual.
The vote June 22 came after the council heard comments from eight individuals, four of whom serve on the city's Human Rights Commission, and after the reading of five letters on the subject. According to Council Administration Kay Kuhlmann, four people wrote in support of the ban and one opposed it.
The final vote was 6-0; Kim Beise cast an abstention vote. Kuhlmann said Tuesday morning that Beise “abstained based on not having enough information.”
“Even though it’s not happening in our community it’s not welcome here," Council member Becky Norton said in an interview Tuesday.
Council member Evan Brown said of his vote and comments during the council’s discussion, “my point was to be clear that I don’t consider this is therapy of any kind.”
Policing task force
In separate action Monday, the council also voted to create a task force to focus on policies and practices. This task force would be a combination of police officers and private citizens.
Kuhlmann told the Republican Eagle that about 10 individuals spoke on this topic, including Police Chief Roger Pohlman.
"Although each person who spoke had a different experience and perspective, they all agreed that coming together and having conversations was how to move forward away from a ‘them and us’ conversation to a community conversation. It was very powerful. Representative Barb Haley and Senator Mike Goggin also spoke to the city on what discussions are occurring at the state level regarding police reform and other general matters," Kuhlman said.
A workshop is planned for Monday, June 29, to work through the details of the task force