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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Conversion Therapy Ban Fails in Massachusetts Legislature

A bill that would have prohibited therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor has failed in the Massachusetts Legislature, even though both the House and Senate expressed support for it.

An amendment added to the bill in the state House of Representatives five weeks ago proved the bill’s undoing, as the Senate failed to pass a reconciled version in time to meet all the technical formalities needed before the two chambers wrapped up their formal sessions in the wee hours of Wednesday, August 1.

As a result, so-called “conversion therapy” remains legal in Massachusetts, although it’s unclear if any mental-health therapists in the state are practicing it.

“We are relieved to see that parents and children will continue to have the freedom to seek the counseling they choose,” said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, who opposes the bill, in an email message. “… The bill was defeated by all the hard work of our allies in the House and Senate, backed up by the phone calls and emails from MFI’s thousands of Bay State supporters.”


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