Maine’s latest attempt to ban conversion therapy gains momentum

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

A bill broadly banning the use of conversion therapy on minors won bipartisan support in a legislative committee Thursday.

The amended bill from Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, would bar most certified licensed professionals from using the controversial method of therapy on anyone in Maine younger than 18 and prohibit the use of MaineCare to pay for it.

It earned unanimous support from Democrats on the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee and partial support from Republicans. Rep. Mark Blier, R-Buxton, and Rep. Gregg Swallow, R-Houlton, were the only members to vote against the bill.

Conversion therapy is a largely discredited method of therapy used to try and change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Maine is the only state in New England that has yet to ban the practice for minors. At least 15 states have passed similar measures.

Former Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a similar bill from Fecteau last year, and both chambers were…

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