News: Maine Bans Conversion Therapy For Minors

Maine now becomes the 17th state in America to ban conversion therapy for minors after their governor, Janet Mills, signed the bill into law last Wednesday. The law takes effect 90 days after the Maine State Legislature adjourns next month.

The 16 other states that have enacted similar bans include New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts.

The Associated Press reports that Mills called conversion therapy “harmful” and “widely discredited” and that it “has no place in Maine.”

“By singing this bill into law today, we send an unequivocal message to young LGBTQ people in Maine and across the country: We stand with you, we support you, and we will always defend your right to be who you are,” Mills said.

Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project director for GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, lauded the move.

“With this law, Maine is taking seriously its responsibility to ensure youth and parents who seek support are not subjected to fraudulent and dangerous practices under the guise of therapy,” she said.

Once the law takes effect, social workers, pharmacy technicians, school psychologists, and other professionals who advertise, administer, or offer conversion therapy to minors will face disciplinary actions from licensing boards.

Conversion therapy is a widely debunked practice that claims to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Some organizations that are critical of the practice include the World Psychiatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, and the Australian Psychological Society.

The past year saw two films bring conversion therapy to the forefront — “Boy Erased” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” Both films resulted in an increase of sign-ups to campaigns focused on banning gay conversion therapy.

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      • Libertarian Queer

        There is a reason minors don’t enjoy the same rights as adults – they don’t have sufficient intellectual development to make informed decisions in most cases. It’s the same reason adults are forbidden to engage in sexual activity with minors, the reason why minors cannot go out and buy guns at WalMart, cannot enter into binding contracts, etc.

        This doesn’t mean minors don’t sometimes do adult things like have sex among themselves. But it is the reason why parents have a right and duty to control what their minor child does or does not do. Having said that, we all know some adult parents are complete idiots; we’ve all seen examples of it. In those cases, where the interest of the child is not being seen to by the adult parent, the state steps in.

        So, yes, the state may regulate abortions with respect to minors and may require parental involvement in the decision whether to abort or not. And, I agree with Matt with respect to gender reassignments performed on minors. It is a far, far reaching decision and should not be made by the mindset of a minor, and because some parents are idiots, I think the state is within it’s rights to regulate those in the long term interest of the child also.

        But, hey, in the grand scheme of things waiting a few years until one is 18 YO to do a sexual reassignment surgery isn’t that big of a deal. I come by that viewpoint not as a child of few years existence on this planet but as an adult with lots of years of existence. Minors don’t posess that perspective.

  1. Doc in The South

    Seventeen down, 33 states and a few territories to go.

    Never give up. Thousands of young lives depend on eradicating this misbegotten practice and other variants of the “Pray the Gay Away” cult.

  2. Libertarian Queer

    OK, y’all gotta read this. That is, if you’re into reading and maybe learning a thing or two:

    Says the founder of the Mattichine Society and gay civil rights pioneer, Dr. Franklin Kameny: “There is no valid scientific evidence to show that homosexuality is a sickness, illness, neurosis or pathology of any kind . . . . Homosexuality is not intrinsically inferior to heterosexuality; it is not a second-best condition. The problems of the homosexual stem from discrimination by the heterosexual majority and are much more likely to be employment problems than emotional problems. There is no valid ethical reason for a person to subject himself to conditioning therapy other than submission to societal prejudice. Such submission is immoral, of course, because prejudice is immoral. . . . .”

    The link above goes to a very long PDF narrative of how conversion therapy started, who some of the players were, how the US government and media was complicit in it, how rights were completely ignored, lobotomies, electroshock therapy, social conditioning, ad nauseum. Chapter 1 alone is reason enough to never rely on government or media to solve all our problems; it can be a dangerous two-way street.

    It is a very fascinating and scary read with a good part of it relating the experiences of John Smid, a gay man, who was for years the director of Love in Action, a Tennessee based ministry that operated a gay conversion therapy program. It was Smid’s experiences that were the basis for the film “Boy Erased”. Smid has long since renounced conversion therapy and now lives with his partner in Texas.

  3. Tavon

    A little common sense there. Especially when the post ops that aren’t happy with the day to day realities of surgery and treatments start suing

  4. Lamar

    Yeah, well, you know what, “they’ve” tried various conversions on a few of us, lmao: various-Indigenous peoples, Africans, nature even. SURPRISE, ‘we people’ are whom we’ve always been much to their chagrin, much to the benefit of the world, period….

    Anglo/Saxon-bullshit,… ‘as if’, like God-Creator/mother nature, got it wrong, how fucking rich is that? It’s clear, they are the problem, mostly. Those types; convert yourselves-try that, you’re the aliens of the human race, period, get an exorcism or something,…

    Hey, anybody ever see the movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn in “Suddenly Last Summer?” If you did or do, you’ll see the parallel, with Hepburn’s character, sick-willfully destructive as a damn plague, not Taylor’s character….

    Google, Isaiah Washington, formerly of “Grey’s Anatomy” what he discovered about Africa’s
    gay people, prior to Europe’s invasion ” the first gay pride” of its gay citizens, he was on Tavis Smiley’s talk show years ago. He called a fellow actor a faggot, the producer (Shonda Rimes) was having none of it, he was fired, as well he should have been.

    I think it was his odyssey/foray; higher learning… the ignorance of the European/conquest against ‘nature’ and her checks/balances of/or the over-populous of the human race.
    Protecting us against ourselves.

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