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Legislators consider overturning veto of conversion therapy ban

Among the many bills legislators will deal with Monday is one to ban conversion therapy, which Gov. LePage vetoed.

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Monday the Maine legislature will return to debate a long list of bills vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage.

One of those bills dealt with conversion therapy, a controversial form of therapy that attempts to change a person's sexual preference or gender identity. The bill would outlaw the practice in the state, but LePage vetoed the bill, citing the language as too broad.

LePage says his main concern is how it could infringe on a person's religious beliefs. Supporters of the bill say LePage is missing the point.

"We're not trying to stop people from believing what they want to believe. Anyone is welcome to believe whatever religion they want, but that shouldn't effect a person's medical care," said Matt Moonen, executive director of Equality Maine.

He says that studies show conversion therapy is more likely to harm people.

"when we're thinking about the power of the government to license someone as a doctor, someone we're supposed to be able to trust, someone who is doing good for us and helping us to lead better lives, we need to know that their not going to offer junk science that actually causes harm to kids," he said.

He says he doesn't expect the veto to be overturned, but says he hopes for similar legislation in the future.

"There are too many house republicans that will side with LePage for this to pass, but our hopes is that one day we can prevent any sort of therapy treatment that will actually do harm to LGBTQ kids in Maine," he said.

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