Conversion Therapy Ban Supporters Plan Victory Lap, Since Governor Didn’t Give Them One

Printed from:

Supporters of banning therapeutic techniques designed to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors in Massachusetts are planning to hold a “community bill signing” since Governor Charlie Baker didn’t offer a public event in association with the new law.

“We invite all allies to attend and sign an enlarged version of the bill,” wrote state Representative Kay Khan (D-Newton), the bill’s House sponsor, in a Facebook post.

Featured speakers include Khan; Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), the Massachusetts House speaker; Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the Massachusetts Senate president; and Julian Cyr (D-Provincetown), a state senator.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 outside the House chamber on the third floor of the Massachusetts State House.

Baker, a Republican, signed the bill Monday, April 8 without a public event and without public comment.

Supporters of the ban, which threatens therapists with the loss of state license to practice, say it does away with a technique that doesn’t work, isn’t needed, and can do lasting damage to homosexual and transgender adolescents.

Opponents say conversion therapy does work in some cases and provides a way out for teen-agers who don’t want feelings of same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

The Massachusetts Family Institute, which opposes the ban, has said it plans to challenge it in federal court on free-speech grounds.

Opponents have also argued that the ban may violate the religious freedom of parents and children who don’t believe in same-sex sexual activity or denying their biological sex.