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Without any comment, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has signed a bill making the Bay State the 16th (and with Washington D.C.) to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” a controversial practice aimed at changing a minor’s sexual orientation. The bill (HB 140) bars mental health professionals from using the therapy on anyone under 18. It does not bar the practice from being used with adults, and it specifically exempts therapies that focus on acceptance, facilitate coping, or are sexual orientation-neutral.
Opponents of the bill claim conversion therapy does work, and that the law violates a parents’ First Amendment rights. At least one conservative group, the Massachusetts Family Institute, has said it will sue to block the measure, which is set to take effect immediately. (MASSLIVE.COM, BOSTON HERALD, STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE [BOSTON])