House kills ban on gay conversion therapy for minors

January 9, 2018

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Therapy that seeks to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity will remain legal in New Hampshire, though lawmaker say they found no evidence it is being practiced in the state.

The House on Tuesday killed two bills that would have prohibited so-called conversion therapy. Supporters of the measure said the state should ban an inappropriate, ineffective and harmful practice regardless of how often it occurs. But opponents said state licensing boards already have the authority to regulate and discipline any practitioner who uses coercive tactics.

Opponents also raised concerns that well-meaning counselors and teachers could face criminal charges for helping heterosexual teens who have temporary same-sex crushes.

Republican House Speaker Gene Chandler’s votes to kill the legislation broke tie votes on both bills.

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