On Monday, April 9, Massachusetts became the 16th state to outlaw LGBTQIA+ therapy for young minors. Passed by both Democratic Party majority houses of the legislature and signed by Republican Governor Charlie Baker, the new law will prohibit state-licensed health care providers from advertising or engaging in “sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts with a patient who is less than 18 years of age.”
The movement to ban conversion therapy for minors is gaining traction nationwide. The only state left in New England that has yet to outlaw the controversial medical practice is Maine. States such as California, New York, D.C., and Illinois have all outlawed the practice through state legislation. In late March 2019, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló signed an executive order to ban conversion therapy after the Caribbean island territory’s House of Representatives refused to vote on a bill that would have prohibited the practice.
At the federal level, New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who is openly gay, introduced a proposed bill that would prohibit federal Medicaid funds from being utilized to reimburse therapists who engage in conversion therapy nationwide. Proposed laws to ban the practice have been introduced and debated in states such as Utah, Minnesota, and Virginia.
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