Massachusetts Votes to Ban Conversion Therapy on Minors

Massachusetts is the latest to ban conversion therapy. The state passed legislation to ban conversion therapy on minors. Conversion therapy is a practice that attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.   

Massachusetts is the 16th state to prohibit conversion therapy. New York, Connecticut, and California are among the states that have passed legislation to ban it. More than 45 cities have also banned it.

Nearly 700,000 people in the Unites States have received conversion therapy, though the American Psychiatric Association has stated, “…There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of ‘reparative therapy’ as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation…” and that they oppose and psychiatric treatment such as “reparative” of “conversion” therapy.  

According to a survey conducted by Beyond Ex-Gay group, 80% of survivors of conversion therapy feel shame, depression, and have thoughts of suicide. A fifth of people who undergo conversion therapy attempted suicide.

“Don’t be mistaken: conversation therapy does harm to their clients,” Massachusetts representative Sarah Peake explained. “Conversion therapy harms their clients through shaming, through increasing self-loathing through bringing to the foreground feelings on self-hatred, inadequacy, and the horrible feeling for any kid” the feeling of being other.”

In a 2009 report, the American Psychological Association, said methods to change sexual orientation included inducing nausea, vomiting, or electric chocks while showing the patient homoerotic images.