03 / 14 / 2019
  - 01:03:27 PM
The House Overwhelmingly Passed A Bill Yesterday To Ban The Practice Of Conversion Therapy For Minors,
  
By MyFM's Rick Michaels - The House overwhelmingly passed a bill yesterday to ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors, renewing an effort that lawmakers failed to complete last summer.  By a vote of 147-8, the House approved legislation that prevents state licensed therapists from attempting to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity. Seven of the House’s 32 Republicans opposed the bill in an initial vote, including State Representative Michael Soter of Bellingham and Shawn Dooley of Norfolk. Proponents argued the practice, which has been outlawed in 15 states and the District of Columbia, is abusive and has been scientifically debunked. The House and Senate passed a similar bill in 2018, but could not get it to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's desk before formal lawmaking session ended. Baker said this year he is "inclined to support" the bill, which is expected to clear the Senate. Dooley offered amendments to the bill to exempt talk therapy from the ban and to extend restrictions to unlicensed practitioners. The  House ruled the amendments were beyond the scope of the bill because they were based on a Dooley version of the legislation (H 110) that was not released by the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities for a full House vote. If the Senate approves the bill and Baker signs it into law, Massachusetts will join every other state in New England other than Maine in having a legal ban on conversion therapy for minors.
 

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