Join NASW   |   NASW Store   |   Print Page   |   Sign In
News & Press: What's Happening

NASW-MA Applauds the House for Advancing HB140, Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth

Wednesday, March 13, 2019  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
Share |

NASW-MA Applauds the House for Advancing HB140, Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth


The National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter applauds the House of Representatives for its action today in passing HB140, an Act Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth. As a member of the Conversion Therapy Ban Coalition, this proposed legislation is a priority for the Chapter. We commend and thank Representative Khan for her steadfast commitment and to Speaker DeLeo for making this a priority for the Commonwealth early in this session.

Social workers recognize the harmful and detrimental effects conversion therapy has on disenfranchised youth. Through their work clinically and in the community, social workers are focused on protecting human rights and working to advocate for and defend members of the LGBTQ community, youth or adult.


The American Medical Association and all major psychological associations, including NASW, oppose the use of conversion therapy and reject the practice. Services that purport to "cure" people of their sexual orientation or gender identity lack medical or scientific justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of our LGBTQ community. Jack Turban, MD, MHS, a clinical fellow in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said to us recently, "Research has shown that exposure to conversion therapy for sexual orientation or gender identity is associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes including suicidality. Our group found that exposure to gender identity conversion therapy during childhood is associated with a four-fold increase in the odds of attempting suicide.”


This bill would not infringe on the work of mental health professionals, like social workers, in doing their jobs by helping clients to explore or talk about their sexual identity or orientation. Rebekah Gewirtz, Executive Director of NASW-MA said, “If signed into law, Massachusetts will join 15 other states and Washington D.C. in banning this abusive practice. At the same time, we will help amplify the important message that LGBTQ individuals are not broken, do not need fixing, and are worthy of love, compassion, and a right to a life free of harassment and discrimination.”




For interviews, contact:

Rebekah Gewirtz, Executive Director

617-645-4773 | 


About National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter (NASW-MA): NASW-MA is the largest professional social work organization in the commonwealth. NASW-MA is committed to advancing professional social work practice and the profession and to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and unimpeded access to services for everyone.

more Featured Events

MLK, Jr. Forum on Racial Justice: "Environmental Justice is Racial Justice" - 2.5 CEUs

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
11 Beacon Street, Suite 510, Boston MA 02108
tel: (617)227-9635 fax: (617)227-9877 email:
Copyright 2017, NASW-MA. All rights reserved.

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal