Massachusetts House Approves ‘Gay Conversion Therapy' Ban

Massachusetts House lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved legislation that would ban so-called "gay conversion therapy" for minors.

Ban supporters say the practice -- which aims to alter a person's sexual orientation -- is widely discredited by medical and mental health associations and can lead to depression and suicide.

Opponents, including the Massachusetts Family Institute, say the legislation would impose criminal liability on health professionals who counsel children struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

The bill would allow non-licensed religious or faith-based counselors providing pastoral counseling.

The House passed the bill Wednesday by a 147-8 vote.

Lawmakers passed a similar bill last summer but it stalled in the session's final hours.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says he's inclined to sign it.

Massachusetts would become the 16th state to adopt a ban.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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