The Massachusetts House on Wednesday
overwhelmingly approved a bill that seeks to prohibit therapies that
attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Lawmakers approved the bill with a
A similar bill cleared the House and
Senate last year but a technicality kept it from reaching Governor
Charlie Baker's desk. Baker, a Republican, recently said that he's
“inclined to support” the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called such therapies “child
“We should call this practice what it
is: child abuse,” said Marty Rouse, national field director for
HRC. “No child should have to endure such a painful and
life-threatening experience, and we applaud the Massachusetts House
of Representatives for taking such decisive action to protect LGBTQ
According to HRC, Massachusetts would
become the 15th state – plus the District of Columbia –
with such a ban, if enacted.