AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers and members of the public are set to continue the emotional debate over a proposed ban on conversion therapy in Maine.

The controversial practice aims to turn gay people straight.

Supporters say it is critical to protecting vulnerable youth in Maine that therapists should not be able to engage in the practice.

The proposed bill seeks to prohibit "licensed professionals" from doing so with minors.

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“In today’s world what young people who have survived conversion therapy are reporting is they are using psychological means to cause harm to children,” Democratic Representative Ryan Fecteau said. “[They] tell them who they are is wrong and needs to be changed.”

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Governor LePage vetoed a proposed ban after it passed the legislature last year on the grounds of religious liberty.

Activists with the Christian Civic League of Maine say people should have the choice to get counseling.

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“People can change,” Mike McClellan said. “Talk is not abuse, choice is good and there's an absence  of any complaints on this issue in the history of Maine.”

There are currently 16 states in the country banning the practice. Massachusetts is the latest to approve a ban by passing a bill this week.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Augusta.