BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate has approved legislation that would prohibit LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors in Massachusetts.

The Senate approved the bill Thursday by a 34-0 vote. The House has passed a similar measure.

Bill backers say conversion therapy that intends to alter a person's sexual identity has been widely discredited by mental health professionals and can be harmful to children.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has said he is leaning toward signing the measure if it reaches his desk.

The head of the Massachusetts Family Institute said a ban would likely be challenged in court. The group says it would eliminate options for youth struggling with sexual or gender identity.

Opponents also say a ban violates First Amendment protections of free speech.
More than a dozen U.S. states have passed LGBTQ conversion therapy bans.

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