July 17, 2013
Ben Klein, Senior Attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, testified yesterday at the Massachusetts statehouse in support of a bill to ban so-called “conversion therapy” – therapy that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.
Testimony on the bill, H 154, was heard before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities.
“So-called conversion therapy is a disgraceful chapter in our society’s mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” said Klein in his testimony, the full text of which can be read here on GLAD’s website. “It’s been proven ineffective, it defies modern medicine, and it inflicts serious psychological harm on young people.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Carl Sciortino, would prohibit any licensed healthcare professional in Massachusetts from engaging in any practice that seeks impose a change in the ‘‘sexual orientation or gender identity’’ of anyone under 18. Any licensed professional violating the ban would be subject to discipline that could include the suspension or revocation of their license to practice.
“GLAD strongly supports this bill, which we believe is a significant step to creating a better, more affirming world for LGBT youth,” said Klein. “Passage of this bill will send an important message that sexual orientation and gender identity do not need changing. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is normal and healthy.”