Massachusetts GOP governor signs bill banning gay conversion therapy

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Monday signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors in the state.

The Massachusetts State House News Service reported that Baker signed the bill, which bars health care providers from conducting or promoting "sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts with a patient who is less than 18 years of age."

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The move makes Massachusetts the 16th state, in addition to Washington, D.C., to enact protections for LGBTQ youth regarding the practice, which has been widely denounced as harmful and medically discredited.

The measure was overwhelmingly passed by the Massachusetts state House and Senate earlier this month, according to NBC Boston. 

The Massachusetts Family Institute, a conservative group, has threatened to challenge the ban in court.

The state’s ban was lauded by LGBTQ rights activists and supporters, including Chelsea Clinton, who called the practice “a form of child abuse” in a tweet.

“Good news!! Thank you Massachusetts,” Clinton tweeted. “Only 34 more states to go to ban conversion therapy, a form of child abuse.”