Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Massachusetts Becomes 16th State to Ban LGBT Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy tries to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. It can be done through talk or through a practice where a therapist causes pain when someone has a sexual reaction to someone of the same sex.

By Shira Schoenberg

Massachusetts therapists can no longer use a type of therapy that tries to alter a teenager's sexual orientation.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed into law a bill banning licensed health care professionals from providing conversion therapy to anyone under 18.

Conversion therapy tries to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. It can be done through talk or through a practice where a therapist causes pain when someone has a sexual reaction to someone of the same sex.

Most professional medical organizations have said conversion therapy is not a legitimate form of medical treatment.

Supporters of the ban say conversion therapy has the potential to harm vulnerable young people who are gay or are dealing with issues related to their sexual identity, by shaming them and potentially driving them to depression or drug use.

The ban does not address conversion therapy performed on adults, nor does it apply to pastoral counseling by a religious leader.

Fifteen states and Washington, D.C., have already banned conversion therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Massachusetts House votes to ban conversion therapy for minors

Conversion therapy tries to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Baker, a Republican, signed the bill despite concerns by Republicans in the state Senate over whether the ban infringed on parents' rights to control their children or on therapists' free speech rights.

Massachusetts Senate passes conversion therapy ban, over Republicans' constitutional concerns

Five of six Senate Republicans voted "present" after a failed vote to ask the SJC for a legal opinion on the bill.

(c)2019 The Republican, Springfield, Mass.

Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
Sponsored
The latest news about government abuse can make state and local lawmakers feel powerless to act to protect their constituents.
Sponsored
CareStart, On/Go, iHealth, QuickVue manufacturers increase production.
The 2021 Ideas Challenge recognizes innovative public policy that positively impacts local communities and the NewDEAL leaders who championed them.
Sponsored
Drug coverage affordability really does exist in the individual Medicare marketplace!
Sponsored
Understand the differences between group Medicare and individual Medicare plans and which plans are best for retirees.
Sponsored
For a while, concerns about credit card fees and legacy processing infrastructure might have slowed government’s embrace of digital payment options.
Sponsored
How expanded financial assistance, a streamlined application process and creative legislation can help Black and brown-owned businesses revive communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Sponsored
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Sponsored
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.