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.
The conservative Massachusetts Family Institute has threatened to challenge the ban in court if it became law. The group says the ban violates First Amendment rights to free speech.
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 fraudulent, cruel and barbaric.
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