Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a controversial bill that would have banned therapy to help minors with unwanted same-sex attraction in the state, saying it posed a threat to religious liberty.
“This is so broad that licensed professionals would be prohibited from counseling an individual even at the individual’s own request,” the governor wrote in his veto message, adding that “parents have the right to seek counsel and treatment for their children from professionals who do not oppose the parents’ own religious beliefs,” according to The Hill.
“At no time should such treatment take the form of mental or physical abuse and such treatment should always be subject to the statutory requirements of the standard of care for that profession,” LePage wrote.
Calling the bill a “bad public policy,” the governor added that he strongly agrees “that young people should not be physically or mentally abused if they come out to their parents or guardians because they have experienced sexual or romantic attraction to an individual of the same gender. However, as it is written – ‘any practice or course of treatment’ – can call into question a simple conversation.”
In California, public outcry has delayed the Senate’s debate and vote on a similar bill banning sexual orientation change efforts, which is sometimes called “gay conversion therapy.”
Known as AB 2943, the bill passed in the state assembly earlier this year and seeks to declare therapy for individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions or who want to leave homosexuality a fraudulent practice.
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Source: Christian Post