Maine officially bans gay conversion therapy

Maine officially bans gay conversion therapy
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Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) has signed legislation to ban the practice of gay conversion therapy on minors.

“Today I signed into law a bill banning conversion therapy, a widely-discredited practice that has no place in Maine,” Mills announced on Twitter on Wednesday. 

“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,” she continued.

The bill prohibits the “advertising, offering and administering of therapy designed to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, also known as conversion therapy, to individuals under 18 years of age” in the state.

The practice of conversion therapy has long been condemned by medical and mental health professionals as ineffective. It is believed to be capable of causing severe psychological harm to individuals.

The legislation also states in its findings that the practice “is based on the false premise that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness or disorder and is caused by a developmental deficiency, trauma, abuse or unmet emotional needs and that conversion therapy can alter a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.” 

According to a local NBC station, Mills’s signature makes Maine the 17th state in the country to outlaw conversion therapy. A number of states have passed similar bans in recent months, including Delaware and California.