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Massachusetts' Republican governor signs ban on conversion therapy for children

Massachusetts' Republican governor signs ban on conversion therapy for children

Does this infringe on the rights of parents?

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill prohibiting the use of conversion therapy on minors who identify as LGBTQ.

What are the details?

The new law bans medical practitioners from attempting to counsel children under the age of 18 into or out of their "sexual orientation and gender identity."

In March, the state legislature passed the bill unanimously in the Democrat-controlled Senate after it has overwhelmingly passed the state House.

Baker previously said that he would be " inclined to support" the bill if it made it to his desk.

According to WBUR-TV, such types of therapy is illegal in 14 other states and in the District of Columbia.

What have people said about this?

Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, told the Boston Globe that he was grateful for Baker's move in "moving so quickly to ban conversion therapy for minors."

"Being LGBTQ is not an illness or a disease that needs to be cured," Isaacson insisted in a March statement. "These fraudulent treatments are cruel and barbaric. And now thankfully, they are banned in Massachusetts."

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said that the organization plans to pursue legal action against the law, insisting that the law denies "critical mental health treatment to sexually confused youth."

"This law is an extraordinarily invasive assault on the rights of parents to raise their children and a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech for the counselors whose help they seek," he added.

In March, Beckwith insisted that the new law would do more harm than good, noting that it would eliminate "options for struggling youth who are questioning their sexuality or gender identity and really takes away the rights of parents to find the treatment that is best for their children and their families."

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Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Sarah is a former staff writer for TheBlaze, and a former managing editor and producer at TMZ. She resides in Delaware with her family. You can reach her via Twitter at @thesarahdtaylor.