A bill to prevent therapy aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity has died after the Maine House failed Monday to override GOP Gov. Paul LePage's veto of the legislation.
The measure would have banned so-called "conversion therapy" in Maine. The governor said the ban would be bad public policy and that there is no evidence that any medical professionals in Maine are even using the therapy.
LePage also expressed concern that the bill could infringe on religious freedom. Last week, Matt Moonen, executive director of Equality Maine, said LePage is wrong.
“Studies show that this actually causes harm to minors who are subjected to this so-called treatment," Moonen says, "so this sends a pretty terrible message from the governor to LGBT kids across the state.”
Moonen said LePage is the first governor to veto a bill protecting minors from conversion therapy. Thirteen other states have such laws on the books, and six of them were signed by Republican governors.
The vote was 79 to 61, short of the two-thirds needed to override LePage's veto of the measure.