Around New England

Massachusetts Senate To Vote Thursday on Conversion Therapy Ban

March 26, 2019

The Massachusetts Senate plans to vote Thursday on a bill that would ban conversion therapy for minors.

Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) said the bill was voted out of committee Monday, March 25 and will go to the Senate floor Thursday, March 28, according to video of a press conference published by State House News Service.

The Massachusetts House has already passed a version of the ban.

The original Senate bill contained a provision that would define seeking therapy to try to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person 17 years old or younger as child abuse, which might have led to investigations by the state’s family-services agency of parents. That provision has ben taken out of the version of the bill that is going to the Senate floor, according to State House News Service.

Instead, therapists who try conversion therapy techniques would run the risk of losing their license to practice.

If the House and Senate agree on a version of the bill and pass it, which key legislators have said is likely, it will go to Governor Charlie Baker, who said earlier this month he is inclined to sign it.

On Monday, Baker declined to say whether he would sign a conversion therapy ban bill.

“I’ve said many times that I usually don’t comment on legislation until it gets to my desk. There are at two versions of the conversion therapy ban kicking around at this point,” Baker said.