However, if the bill passes, Maine could become the fourteenth state to ban the harmful practice.
Maine could become the latest state to ban the harmful practice of gay ‘cure’ therapy. Representative Ryan Fecteau, who is openly gay, has sponsored the bill, LD 912, which seeks to make it illegal for licensed medical or mental health practitioners from attempting to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Although the bill received enough support to pass, it didn’t receive enough support to bypass the state governor’s veto. And Governor Paul LePage, who is a Republican, has not yet confirmed whether he will allow the bill to pass into law.
As of this month, seven other states are currently debating legislation which would ban the practice. These states are Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and Texas.
Meanwhile, bills in New York, Delaware and Massachusetts have passed some legislative hurdles, but are still awaiting votes in upper houses.
However, even though the practice is still legal in most of the states, certain cities like Cincinnati in Ohio or Miami in Florida have banned the practice.
Marty Rouse, the Human Rights Campaign’s national field director, urged LePage to sign the bill, saying: “This critically important legislation will help ensure children in Maine are not subjected to a practice that amounts to nothing less than child abuse.
“It’s now imperative that fair-minded people across the state contact Governor LePage’s office and urge him to sign this bill protecting LGBTQ youth or allow it to become law.
“Other Republican Governors across the country — including most recently in neighbouring New Hampshire — have signed similar bipartisan legislation, and it’s vital for Maine’s LGBTQ youth that Governor LePage does the same.”
Matt Moonen, the executive director of Equality Maine echoed Rouse’s comments, saying: “We are pleased that both chambers of the legislature have finally passed these needed protections for LGBTQ youth in Maine. We call upon the governor not to veto this needed bill that can save lives.”