Gay Rights: Conversion Therapy Banned In Massachusetts

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.

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  1. Pride

    Awesome for them! It should be banned everywhere it’s mid evil-ish and I consider it torture/Brainwashing. They used to burn people at the stake for being witches……Same kind of thing as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Nathan

    I was “Subject” to this at the “Academy.”

    Back then, it was called : “A Word To The Wise.” Or, it was a “Warning, the ‘First Time’.” Different names, similar techniques. It was either a measure of ‘Prevention’ or ‘Cure’.

    It didn’t work…except to scare-the-hell-out-of us, or a harbinger of expulsion. Then, and now, Homosexuality is still considered a conscious or subconscious choice.

    The fact that it is still employed, regardless of efficacy, is proof that for all the ‘so-called’ gains made, the reality is, the frame-of-mind still lurking within many.

  3. Dave R

    I say stop banning everything in this country and let people make their own damn choices. If people want to be gay, str8, bi, let them make the choice, not the government! I’ve been bisexual my entire life. No amount of conversion therapy is ever going to change that. If I decide at some point to do the therapy, that’s my own fucking choice, not some bullshit beaurocrat.

    • Ranttrap

      Choice? CHOICE? You CHOOSE as an ADULT to participate willing in a behavior or to deny or delay an action. When you do so in the face of true brain chemistry and hormones you either live out WHO you feel you are, or you simply deny the character of your being. Why don’t you look up the “Sissy Boy Experiment” where a sociologist (confused about gender and sexual orientations) attempted to reward masculine behaviors and punish feminine ones in young males. Prior to the DSM III’s 1973 assertion that homosexuality was neither neurosis nor psychosis, Conversion Therapies basically tortured and electrocuted a child throughout his youth; he grew up hating who he felt he WAS at his core being. After struggling not to act out on his admitted attraction to males he felt in a constant state of dysphoria (his siblings accepted and loved him, his mother did not). By his thirties, he committed suicide – it is one of several cases cited by the state of California for why they justly made all such programs illegal. I’m pretty sure sure most people know that they came naturally to their desires – and that only acting on the behaviors was the “choice” in their lives. However, not to worry, as an adult you have the full right to torture yourself all you might want for “choosing” to be bi

    • JJ

      That’s stupid as hell. Conversion therapy has been proven to not only be worthless but it’s extremely damaging to LGBT youth. They are much more likely to commit suicide and even if they don’t there is a whole host of mental health problems. It’s psychological torture essentially. Some of us actually care about our community. I’m glad it’s banned.

  4. Gay Dad & Doc in The South


    The AMA, & APA ought to add Ethical Canons (far stronger than “position papers” & “clinical practice guidelines”) expressly prohibiting ANY participation in this toxic snake venom masquerading as snake oil.

    Likewise, “lay programs” like “Jouney into Manhood”–and anything else seeking to “cure SSA” (that’s slang for “Same Sex Attraction”, to those unfamiliar w what is otherwise known as the “Pray-the-Gay-Away” cult) deserve listing as ineffective, fradulent, and usually harmful cults, and deprived of most of the retreat centers they use for their cult indoctrination weekends by community pressure.

    Legislation alone (even if/when sufficient numbers of courageous, rational polititians hold office to ban this malignant wishcraft in all states & jurusdictions) will not stop this pernicious practice, any more than Human Rights legislation frees and empowers LQBTQ folk to step into full civil liberties status. It takes an entire society, using ALL of its peaceful powers of persuasion, to finally flush this…stuff. ..down the drain, into the midden of historical mistakes & malfeasance.

  5. bjjj

    Conversion therapy should be banned in all states and throughout the world. Religion needs to stay out of a persons life. Let people be who they want to be, or born to be. Each person is an individual with likes, dislikes, and sexual desires, among many other things. We should all respect each other, and not trying to change who they are.

    • bjjj

      Just to add, churches no only try to convert gays to straight, but also try to tell others what to do, how to do, what to eat, where and what to celebrate, and insist on certain lifestyles. Just think of it, no meat Fridays, have to have fish, what a joke. Even the Bible doesn’t have anything saying that one should be meatless on Fridays. In other situations, churches say no alcohol, no drugs, can’t have blood transfusions, and also how to dress, among many other ridiculous rules and customs. The main basic rule they seem to avoid that is to respect each other for how they feel, believe, and accept what ever lifestyle they choose. Another thing churches are one of the most segregated groups in this country. No one is forced to join or be involved in any church, (at least so far in the USA). And although probably not related, look at the workplace. Most everyone working is just a slave to society. The big corporations get bigger and richer, as the poor struggling person working a job barely meet his or her bills. Workplaces have no respect for those working for them, it’s all about the almighty dollar. They could care the least about their families, lifestyles, etc. Oh yea to add, a company or boss finds out your gay well, GOODBYE. We don’t need you. And if you don’t fit the right race, sexual preference, or nationality, well there again employers find a way to pass you by, even though there are laws prohibiting discrimination.

  6. Bill

    Indiana will be one of the last ones to pass such a Bill They still don’t have a hate crime bill here yet But they passed a Bill protecting Christians from selling a gay couples a wedding cake

  7. TiredOfIt

    There needs to be an APA ban on licensed practicioners being involved in this church freak show. There also should be a Federal law banning it. But good luck with tRump and fruitcake Pence in there.

  8. Lamar

    If anything needs “conversion,” it should be greed, which leads to hate, which has lead to the greatest crimes against humanity, and you know the ones I’m talking about; America’s “Original Sins.”

    But wait, that’s been most useful, hasn’t it, that kind of evil? For whom-well you know. It’s really funny how “majority ruling” and or class; can pick and choose, the most evil ones, involving
    the theft and murder, near genocide, slavery, raping and pillaging. These, are ok
    ’cause in their minds, its “God ordained” or “destiny’ and so on….

    Delusional, hypocritical. I never once chose to be gay, I did, however, choose to except my
    sexuality, as being part of a harmless part of nature’s checks & balance, populace control.

    On the other hand, perversely, man has chosen differently, its about out-numbering their
    enemies’ militarily, yep, still rings true, all of these centuries later. That’s, barbarism of man,
    I’m purposely, leaving women out of this, just as these so-called religious criminals are
    actually, leaving God/Creator/nature out of it.

    • bjjj

      I agree completely. This whole country is based on greed, hate, money, and judgement, among many other things. The rich get richer, and the poor get deeper in debt. Then there is the hatred and judgement between straight and gay people, and of course between different races and nationalities. No one race is supreme, and a person who has money is no better than the homeless person. Were all human beings with feelings, and we should treat everyone with dignity and respect. We don’t choose our sexuality, so why do people have to judge and hate those who are gay or bi. Then why are groups trying convert gays to be straight. It should be outlawed not only for young people but adults as well. It’s like trying to convert a black person to be white, or an Hispanic person to be Asian, it can’t happen. We are who we are. Sure there are different cultures but so what, it’s not that big of a deal. We just need to learn to respect differences. Unfortunately, the hate and judgement will never end, but we can only try to teach respect for each other.

  9. Barry-NJ

    As an adult, you’re free to undergo conversion therapy if you want. However, it has been ineffective and harmful for minors. Actually, it has been shown to ineffective for adults, too. But, if you want to throw your money away as an adult, that’s your prerogative.

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