AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- An emotional and complex issue will be decided by Mane legislators as they face a request for regulations to prevent so-called conversion therapy.
The controversial practice employs psychological counseling in an attempt to stop people from being gay, lesbian or transgender.
Rep. Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford) told members of the Labor and Commerce Committee that licensed professionals should be prohibited from using conversion therapy on minors. Fecteau said the treatment uses shame and other techniques to tell young people their sexual orientation is wrong, and "needs to be fixed."
Fecteau and others said that kind of treatment often causes depression, and can push young people to become suicidal. Fecteau said he faced a form of the treatment himself while a student, and it led him to consider suicide at the time.
Supporters of the bill said many national psychiatric and psychological organizations have come out against conversion therapy. But a psychologist from California, who runs a clinic that provides restorative therapy to adults, said the bill would prevent people from getting legitimate treatment.