Gov. Baker signs LGBTQ conversion therapy ban for minors

By The Associated Press

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill banning LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors, which critics decry as a harmful and medically discredited attempt to change a person’s sexual identity.

The measure had passed the Democrat-controlled House and Senate by overwhelming margins. Baker, a Republican, signed the bill into law Monday. He had earlier indicated he supported the effort.

Massachusetts becomes the 16th U.S. state to pass a conversion therapy ban.

Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith pledged to challenge the ban in court saying it denies mental health treatment to sexually confused youth. The group says the ban also violates First Amendment free speech rights.

Ban supporters say conversion therapy can be harmful to children. Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors, calls the treatments cruel and barbaric.

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