FARGO -- Good to see Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz sign an executive order that restricts the use of gay conversion therapy on minors. This discredited “therapy” is an attempt to turn gay people into straight people. It doesn’t work, and it’s dangerous. Techniques include hypnosis, inducing vomiting, and electronic shocks.

Those on the receiving end are often depressed, feel ashamed and become suicidal. The treatment has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the United States. The misguided thinking behind such “therapy” is that being gay is a mental illness or a choice. It’s not.

Unfortunately, Walz’s executive order does not go far enough. The Minnesota and North Dakota Legislatures need to pass bills that ban this practice, just like 23 other states have done. The problem is, most Republicans in those two legislatures oppose this legislation.

I received a call from a former teacher in West Fargo, who quit before the start of this school year because of the school district’s COVID-19 policies. “Teachers were thrown under the bus without remorse,” the former teacher said. “The district made decisions that went against good medical advice.”

The former teacher told me she was too stressed out to continue. “I felt powerless and voiceless,” the former teacher said. “I was worried about giving COVID to my kids, and passing it along to my in-laws. I loved my students. It was very hard to resign. It just broke my heart that I felt so undervalued.”

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The North Dakota Legislature should create two subdistricts in every legislative district. Every subdistrict would have a state representative, while a state senator would represent the entire district. There’s no need for North Dakotans to have two representatives in Bismarck. That’s especially true in a state where the districts represent only about 16,500 people. Very few states have a system like North Dakota’s. Many states are more like Minnesota, where each subdistrict has one state representative, and the entire district has a state senator.

So, House members in a subdistrict would represent about 8,250 people. This would bring those representatives closer to the people they serve. That’s especially necessary in the large rural districts, which cover up to seven counties. Subdistricts would make it easier for North Dakotans to get to know their representatives, and could lead to a more diverse legislature.

Sorry to hear of the passing of Donna Nalewaja, a longtime North Dakota Republican state legislator. Donna took one for the team when she ran against popular incumbent Byron Dorgan for the U.S. Senate in 1998. Donna was very friendly and accessible, and cared deeply about her fellow North Dakotans.

Can’t wait to see the documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back,” which will be on Disney+ later this month. It will feature hours of never before seen film footage of the Fab Four’s private recording sessions and amazing rooftop concert. It should be a great look at the best and most influential rock band of all time.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.