You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Skip to main

One Step Closer to Banning Conversion Therapy for MA LGTBQ Youth

BY: Kinzi Sparks
Tangerine Canary Gradient

Bill will bar state-licensed health providers from engaging in therapy aimed at changing the gender identity or sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors

BOSTON, MA – State Representative Kay Khan (D-Newton) applauded her legislative colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate who passed the so-called “Conversion Therapy Ban Bill” by a vote of 34/0. H.140, An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Khan and successfully passed by a vote of 147/8, and co-sponsored by 116 state legislators, including members of both the House and Senate.

“As this bill’s lead sponsor, I thank Senate President Karen Spilka for pushing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts one step closer to banning state licensed conversion therapy, as we did in the House of Representatives two weeks ago under House Speaker Bob DeLeo’s leadership,” said Chairwoman Khan. “I am proud that I have persisted session after session in filing the Conversion Therapy Ban Bill and to be working with a broad coalition of over twenty statewide legal, mental health, child welfare, and LGBTQ organizations, as well as parents dedicated to promoting the well-being and safety of our children in Massachusetts. At the end of the day, this bill is about prohibiting discrimination in health care settings for youth in the LGBTQ community.”

Currently, state-licensed health providers are legally allowed to subject children, under the age of 18, to harmful and abusive conversion therapy practices to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Such practices include, but are not limited to, efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Editor’s note: learn more about reporting on conversion therapy.

A 2018 study found that the rate of attempted suicide by LGBTQ youth whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation was more than double the rate of LGBTQ youth who reported no such attempts. For LGBTQ young people who reported both home-based efforts to change their sexual orientation by parents and efforts by therapists or religious leaders, the rate was three times higher. Organizations like The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, are invested in ending conversion therapy in every state.

“As the final legislative vote passes to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, it’s important to acknowledge that this bill will save numerous young lives in Massachusetts,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs, The Trevor Project. “Life-saving policy leaders like State Representative Khan, the hundreds of Representatives and Senators in support of this bill, and the thousands of local advocates from The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign should be proud of their unwavering support of LGBTQ young people and survivors of conversion therapy.”

The nation’s leading professional and mental health organizations universally condemn conversion therapy methods, which put youth at high risk of depression, anxiety and suicidality. The bill is supported by a large coalition of over twenty organizations in Massachusetts, including: GLAD, National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts, MassEquality, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Boston Bar Association, the Children’s League of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Psychological Association, Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and more.

“We are deeply grateful for the dogged advocacy of Representative Khan and the strong leadership support of Senator Julian Cyr and Senate President Karen Spilka in getting the bill through the Senate,” said Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair of the Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors.

If enacted and signed by the Governor, Massachusetts will become the sixteenth state, along with Washington, D.C., to ban conversion therapy practices aimed at changing gender identity and/or sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors.


State Representative Khan has represented Newton in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1995. She was originally appointed by Speaker Robert DeLeo in 2009 to serve as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, and has served in this capacity ever since.

Read more from

Group of LGBTQ young people surrounded by compass stars and clouds

Maine Becomes 17th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

Augusta, ME — This morning Governor Janet Mills signed HP755, a bill to protect LGBTQ youth in Maine from the dangers of conversion therapy. The bill passed by an overwhelming majority for the second year in a row after Governor LePage vetoed the legislation last year. The Trevor Project and our allies applaud Governor Mills and the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who took a stand to protect young Mainers from this discredited practice. “The legislature and Gov. Mills are sending a clear and meaningful message to our LGBTQ young people. You matter. You belong. And you are loved for who…
Tangerine Violet Gradient

The Trevor Project Condemns Passage of “Don’t Say Gay” Bill By Florida Senate

LGBTQ youth who learned about LGBTQ issues or people in classes at school had 23% lower odds of reporting a suicide attempt in the past year. March 8, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the passage of HB 1557, also known as the “Don't Say Gay” bill, by the Florida Senate. This bill would ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, erasing LGBTQ identity, history, and culture — as well as LGBTQ students themselves. The bill…