Massachusetts Becomes the 16th State to Ban Conversion Therapy

On April 8, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Counseling Ban, a bill prohibiting LGBTQ+ conversion therapy for minors in the Commonwealth. The governor follows the lead of the Massachusetts State House (147-8) and Senate (34-0, 5 abstentions) who passed the measure in prior weeks.

Massachusetts joins California, D.C., Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington in banning conversion therapy. Specifically, the Counseling Ban bars licensed state therapists from conducting or promoting “sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts with a patient who is less than 18 years of age.”

The medical and science community have long argued that conversion therapy that encourages children to change their sexual orientation is harmful because it fosters depression, self-hate and intolerance. However, the bill has some wondering where to draw the line between healthy talk therapy and improper encouragement.

Those opposed to the Counseling Ban argue that it violates parental rights to raise children, religious liberty and freedom of speech of mental healthcare providers. The critics argue the bill deprives young people who may want conversion therapy of the medical attention they seek. In a press release, Massachusetts Family Institute asserted that the bill “effectively den[ies] critical mental health treatment to sexually confused youth in Massachusetts,” and pledged to pursue legal action.

Any determination of the bill’s constitutionality will have to come from the Courts.

Categorized: Conversion Therapy, LGBTQ Rights

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AiVi Nguyen

AiVi Nguyen is a business lawyer with a specialty in litigation, a practical strategist with a focus on complex contract, real estate and employment disputes. AiVi represents businesses of all sizes and in all stages of growth in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in a wide variety of industries spanning from healthcare to craft breweries. “I think of myself as a problem solver,” she says. AiVi’s goal is to get her clients the best result in the most efficient manner. Sometimes that means taking a matter all the way through trial, where AiVi has proven to be an aggressive and successful advocate.

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AiVi Nguyen

AiVi Nguyen is a business lawyer with a specialty in litigation, a practical strategist with a focus on complex contract, real estate and employment disputes. AiVi represents businesses of all sizes and in all stages of growth in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in a wide variety of industries spanning from healthcare to craft breweries. “I think of myself as a problem solver,” she says. AiVi’s goal is to get her clients the best result in the most efficient manner. Sometimes that means taking a matter all the way through trial, where AiVi has proven to be an aggressive and successful advocate.

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