A full-scale ban on therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction failed to pass the Massachusetts state legislature over the weekend upon the two chambers being unable to agree on a specific provision that could have led to children being removed from households.
The bill, H.4664, "would have banned healthcare providers from performing any practice on a minor that 'attempts or purports to impose change of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,' with penalties up to and including suspension or revocation of their medical licenses," LifeSiteNews reports.
The bill passed the state House back in June after being amended to exclude a provision that "would have required teachers and doctors to report hearing about conversion-therapy efforts to social services." The provision was largely seen as a potential way to remove children from religious parents.
The state Senate did not agree with the proposed change and voted on the original bill to include the provision. When the August 1 deadline came, the two chambers failed to agree on a proper way forward.
Pro-family activists have cheered the bill's failure.
"This lack of action on a terrible bill gave the small minority of pro-family legislators in both the House and the Senate the procedural ability to stop passage of the bill with a single objection," Massachusetts Family Institute president Andrew Beckwith said. It’s "proof once again that even in Massachusetts, the voice of pro-family supporters and the efforts of a handful of faithful legislators can make a huge difference."
MassResistance celebrated the victory as well while taking caution for the future.
"Although the LGBT activists have admitted defeat in the press, there are some sleazy and even illegal tactics that are often used to slither legislation through after the formal session ends," they wrote. "For example, between now and the end of 2018 there are twice-weekly ‘informal’ sessions of the House and Senate where as little as 2 members (at least one Democrat and one Republican) vote on so-called ‘non-controversial’ matters. They could try to push it through one of those."
Last month, Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage defied LGBT activists by vetoing a bill that would have banned therapists from counseling people with unwanted same-sex attraction, arguing it was "too broad."