Maine bill banning ‘conversion therapy’ for minors signed into law

Maine bill banning ‘conversion therapy’ for minors signed into law

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law May 29 that reportedly prohibits so-called “conversion therapy” for minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction. Maine joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in banning the therapy.

The law defines conversion therapy as “any practice or treatment that seeks or purports to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” but it says the definition does not include “any practice or treatment that provides acceptance, support and understanding to an individual.”

The law does not specify who may determine what constitutes “acceptance, support and understanding.” The law specifically mentions “marriage and family therapists” and “pastoral counselors” on the list of licensed professionals who cannot provide such therapy to anyone under the age of 18.

“This bill would equate sound biblical counseling with torture and abuse under the name of conversion therapy,” the Christian Civic League of Maine said on its website.

Although the bill does not explicitly equate conversion therapy with child abuse, it places it in the same section as abuse as grounds for revoking a professional counselor’s license if they are found participating in it. (BP)