Openly gay Rep. Ryan Fecteau's bill would outlaw attempts to “change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including, but not limited to, any effort to change gender expression or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.”
The upper chambers of the legislature approved this measure by a 20-10 vote. It had passed the House with 76 votes against 68.
Unfortunately, the bill didn't receive enough support to avoid a possible veto by Republican Governor Paul LePage.
Governor LePage didn't specify his point of view on the legislation. But, know that LePage has already blocked LGBT policies like the one that would have protected transgender students. So we are not very optimistic.
However, we have seen Republican governors approve similar legislation.
“It’s now imperative that fair-minded people across the state contact Gov. LePage’s office and urge him to sign this bill protecting LGBTQ youth or allow it to become law,” Human Rights Campaign National Field Director Marty Rouse said. “Other Republican governors across the country… have signed a similar bipartisan legislation, and it’s vital for Maine’s LGBTQ youth that Gov. LePage does the same.”
Matt Moonen, the executive director of LGBT campaign group Equality Maine, also said: “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.”
We hope that Maine will join other states that have banned "conversion therapies" for LGBTQ minors.