Maine’s legislators need to protect LGBT youth and others by voting for the majority report on LD 912, “An Act to Clarify the Scope of Practice of Certain Licensed Professionals Regarding Conversion Therapy.”

I believe strongly that medical and mental health providers licensed by the state of Maine should be prohibited from engaging in practices such as “conversion or reparative therapy” that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

These practices have no scientific validity and can cause serious dangers to a person and, in particular, young people. No person should ever be subjected or coerced to endure such practices. That is why Maine should never license such individuals who wish to practice in what I would term “voodoo” therapy.

The state has a responsibility not to license such illicit practices as “conversion therapy.”.

The bill is sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans and is also supported by Maine’s Attorney General.

It is also supported by such organizations as the Maine Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Nurse Practitioners Association, Mane and National Alliance on Mental Illness and several other organizations who represent health and safety of individuals. Organizations such as those believe that such conversation therapy has caused tremendous physical and psychological harm and failed its purpose.

As a former police chief and mayor, I view it as a public safety issue that should never be licensed by the state.

Legislators should support and pass LD 912.

Larry Gilbert Sr., Lewiston

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