Conversion Therapy Ban One Step Closer to Law in MA

Conversion TherapyPhoto: Peter Hershey / Unsplash

GLAD Praises Passage in House and Now Senate, Urges Quick Enactment into Law

The Massachusetts State Senate today passed An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors, putting Massachusetts in line to become the next in a steadily growing number of states to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy on youth.

The House passed the bill earlier this month, and Governor Charlie Baker has indicated he is inclined to sign it into law once it reaches his desk. Fifteen other states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico, have prohibited the practice, and bills are pending in a number of other states across the country.

Ben Klein, Senior Attorney for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), issued the following statement:

“Trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not only ineffective, it’s harmful, especially to youth. Such so-called “treatment” has been roundly discredited by the medical establishment and child development experts.

“We are grateful to all the senators who voted for this bill today and especially to leaders on this issue including Senate President Karen Spilka and Senator Julian Cyr, as well as Rep. Kay Kahn who sponsored the bill in the House. We hope the legislature and Governor Baker will work quickly to enact it into law. It is well past time for Massachusetts to prohibit this dangerous practice and make the Commonwealth a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ youth to live, thrive, and reach their full potential.”

GLAD has worked to pass the legislation as a member of the Massachusetts Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors. Massachusetts would join New England states Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire in banning the practice. Similar legislation is pending this session in Maine.

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

[From a News Release]


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