Maine bill to ban ‘conversion therapy’ moves forward

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine would ban painful, coercive or shame-inducing efforts to discourage same-sex attraction under a Democrat’s bill.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Rep. Ryan Fecteau’s bill faces votes in the House and Senate within the next month.

Supporters of so-called “conversion therapy” say the bill could hurt parental rights and jeopardize the work of faith-based counselors. Two lawmakers have offered a milder version of the bill that would ban physical methods like electroshock therapy while leaving open room for verbal abuse.

Fecteau’s bill would allow faith-based counselors to try to help clients understand their sexual orientation. His bill received support this month from the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.

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At least nine other states have similar bans. About 19 states are considering conversation therapy legislation in 2018.