- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill Wednesday banning minors to go through so-called conversion therapy, which seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Today I signed into law a bill banning conversion therapy, a widely-discredited practice that has no place in Maine. Today, we send an unequivocal message to young LGBTQ people: we stand with you, we support you, and we will always defend your right to be who you are,” the Democratic governor said in a speech prior to the signing.

The law makes Maine the 17th state to ban conversion therapy for minors after it received bipartisan support in the state’s House and Senate before being signed by Ms. Mills.

A similar bill last year passed the House and Senate but was ultimately vetoed by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The new law labels conversion therapy as a practice or treatment seeking or claims “to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, any effort to change gender expression or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions, feelings or behavior toward others based on the individual’s gender.”

Conversion therapy has largely panned by mental health professionals as a pseudoscience with the American Psychiatric Association saying the process is “based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”

The Human Rights Campaign said in a statement Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor, is likely to sign a similar bill “this week.”

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