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Massachusetts fails to pass bill banning 'gay cure' therapy

The bill would have banned professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors in the US state.

2018-08-18

The US state of Massachusetts failed to pass a bill banning "gay cure" therapy this month. 

The bill, which would have banned professionals from performing conversion therapy on minors, failed to pass even though the Senate and House had approved it. 

The Senate approved the bill on August 1, but they were unable to agree on the technical changes to make the bill consistent with the House version, which was passed in June. 

According to the Washington Blade, the bill died before heading towards Governor Charlie Baker because the Senate and House couldn't agree on language technicalities.

Reports suggest the Senate wanted to amend the bill the House had passed, which had removed language from the original bill calling conversion therapy for minors a form of child abuse. If left in, the bill could have authorised Massachusetts' child protection agency to remove children from the home of parents forcing them to undergo the practice. 

The Senate wanted to keep the language in but needed to make the bill consistent with the version passed by the House, which had removed it. 

Deborah Shields, an attorney and the executive director for Mass Equality, revealed plans to reintroduce the bill when the state's 2019 session begins. 

She said: "So we have to start the battle all over again. As you can probably tell, I'm frustrated and aggravated by the whole process."