Local reps split on conversion therapy ban

By Stephen Betts | Apr 13, 2018

Augusta — Midcoast representatives were divided Thursday, April 12, on a bill to prohibit licensed professionals in Maine from trying to change the sexual orientation of patients.

The Maine House voted 76-68 for passage of LD 912. The Senate has yet to vote on the bill.

This bill proposes to amend the current law to establish that practices or treatments that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity are prohibited for certain professionals licensed under Maine law and to establish penalties for that conduct.

The vote was largely along party lines.

Democratic Reps. Pinny Beebe-Center of Rockland, John Spear of South Thomaston and Walter Kumiega III of Deer Isle, and independent Rep. Owen Casas of Rockport voted for the ban.

Voting against the bill were Republican Reps. Paula Sutton of Warren and Abden Simmons of Waldoboro.

Sen. Dave Miramant, Democrat of Camden, said he would vote for the bill when it comes before the Senate.

"I want to believe that counselors who were ignorant of the damage they were causing with their efforts were well-meaning. That said, we now know that there is a wide range of normal sexual identity and orientation that is not subject to any other person's judgment or interpretation. We need to put that sad chapter in the past and embrace, support and encourage every person to feel supported for who they are, not who we wish they were based on our own beliefs. We need to send a message to LGBTQ youth in our state that we support them for who they are," Miramant said.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Timothy Wayne Scott | Apr 18, 2018 08:22

What's sad is we have a governor who probably thought this was a wonderful idea.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Apr 17, 2018 10:07

Yes, Jeri: Just imagine the outcries if proponents of debunked "conversion therapy" attempted to convert heterosexuals...

Posted by: Jeri Holm | Apr 16, 2018 10:42

I agree Kendall. I can't believe we are even having a conversation about it in this day and age. The conversation gives the subject credence which it should not have.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Apr 15, 2018 10:25

"Conversion therapy" is not an evidence-based "treatment" for anything other than the biases of anti-LGBTQ promoters...

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