Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors — making the state the 16th in the nation to do so.
The measure had passed the Democrat-controlled House and Senate by overwhelming margins. Baker signed the bill into law Monday, having indicated he supported the effort.
Massachusetts becomes the 16th state to pass a conversion therapy ban; Washington, D.C., also bans the practice.
The conservative Massachusetts Family Institute has threatened to challenge the ban in court if it became law. The group says the ban violates First Amendment rights to free speech.
Ban supporters say conversion therapy can be harmful to children. Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors, calls the treatments fraudulent, cruel and barbaric.
The state's ban was lauded by LGBTQ rights activists and supporters, including Chelsea Clinton, who called the practice "a form of child abuse" in a tweet.
"Good news!! Thank you Massachusetts," Clinton tweeted. "Only 34 more states to go to ban conversion therapy, a form of child abuse."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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