House of Representatives approve ban on conversion therapy for minors

Boston Statehouse

Conversion therapy is an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. House lawmakers argued that the practice is abusive.

Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation that prevents state-licensed therapists from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

A young woman from Williamstown told 22News, she was pleased to see growing support to condemn what she called “discriminatory behavior.”

“From what I know about conversion therapy, it’s very toxic and it’s very abusive, and it’s not actually aimed at helping these children but its more in line with certain indoctrinated beliefs and things like that and I think ultimately the right is with these individuals,” said Serena Chow.

The House and Senate had passed a similar bill in 2018, but couldn’t get it to Governor Baker’s desk in time before the end of the legislative session.

Baker has said he is “inclined to support the bill,” which is expected to clear the Senate.

“I’m glad that our society is starting to have these important discussions and you know make a public stand about what is right for each person,” said Baker.

Conversion therapy has been outlawed in 15 states. The Massachusetts bill would only apply to therapy for minors under the age of 18.

Wednesday’s vote to ban conversion therapy passed by a wide margin in the House: 147 to 8.

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