Earlier this week, Massachusetts joined 15 other states in banning conversion therapy for minors. The controversial therapy has long been highlighted by medical professionals as harmful, with films like The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Boy Erased shining a spotlight on the harmful practice in movie theaters.
The bill was signed into law by Massachusetts governor Charlie Barker after it was passed in the House by 147-8 votes. Other states that have banned conversion therapy for minors are California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, and New York.
New York stands out from the rest of the states as it has also banned conversion therapy for adults.
Aside from these states, the District of Columbia and the territory of Puerto Rico, as well as cities like Miami, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Denver has also passed similar bans. Seventeen other stats also have similar legislation waiting to be passed.
According to The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, about 20,000 LGBTQ teens aged 13 to 17 have likely undergone conversion therapy. The report also says that approximately 698,000 LGBTQ adults have undergone some sort of conversion therapy. It could either be talk therapy, or it could be combined with “aversion treatments,” such as electrocution or induced vomiting.
One of the biggest campaigners against conversion therapy has been The Trevor Project, whose 50 Bills 50 States initiative aims to ban conversion therapy for minors in all 50 states. According to the organization, “lesbian, gay and bisexual youth from highly rejecting families are more than eight times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families.”
Adam4Adam blog readers in Massachusetts, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this new law. Did you take part in any campaigns pushing for it in the Massachusetts House of Representatives? Tells us about your experiences in the comments section below.