Massachusetts Conversion Therapy Ban: What You Need To Know
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For so long we have been kept limited with only those two options and people have found and lost both new and old ways to find a common ground. But we know that there will always be sides. Those who advocate the binary options and want keep it from being changed or added unto, they have created a therapy for individuals, especially for minors. And that is, conversion therapy.
Heading to the Senate
Conversion therapy has recently been one of the most controversial issues today. So what does conversion therapy mean? Basically, this practice tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Unfortunately, in some forms of therapy, a therapist causes pain each time a person has a sexual reaction to someone of the same sex. It has become like child abuse.
Just this March of 2019, The Massachusetts House on Wednesday voted to ban conversion therapy for minors. “Conversion therapy is an inhumane practice that denies individuals their cores selves, their true identity and robs the world of their beautiful, authentic selves,” said Rep. Tami Gouveia.
The vote was 147-8 in favor of the ban. The bill shall now head to the Senate.
Apparently, this voting has already happened last year but unfortunately, the votes were taken in the crunching hours of the last day of the legislative session, and so the makers were not able to make the final vote that would have passed forward the bill to Gov. Charlie Baker. Fortunately, now the votes shall move forward this year. That’s great news for the LGBTQI+ community!
In terms of the bill, it bans state-licensed therapists from practicing conversion therapy on minors but it does not prevent the practice for adults, and it does not limit pastoral counseling by a religious minister.
“It’s a terrifically important piece of legislation because it would protect kids in Massachusetts from undergoing a discredited kind of therapy which the medical profession condemns and which does extreme harm to youth,” says Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. “It brings them to the point of despair, depression, drug abuse and sometimes suicidality.”
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, said the bill could help parents who are looking for assistance after their child comes out as gay. “For those parents who are seeking answers…they should be able to turn to any professional in this state to get good therapy and not be told that the best way to help your child is to go through…this barbaric practice,” says she.
Rep. Kay Khan, D-Newton, chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, said that “There’s a broad consensus in the medical community that any attempts to change minors’ sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy are unnecessary, ineffective and harmful,”.