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Maine Governor Vetoes Bill Banning 'Conversion Therapy'

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that would've banned state-licensed therapists from engaging in conversion therapy aimed at changing someone's sexual orientation.

LePage said Friday the bill is unnecessary for professionals who already have a defined scope of practice and said he has concerns that it could harm parental rights and the work of faith-based counselors.

The group GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, known as GLAD, criticized the governor's veto. The American Medical Association says conversion therapy may cause long-term psychological harm.

LePage used his veto message as an opportunity to criticize lawmakers for rejecting his bill banning female genital mutilation. The practice, which is common in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, is already banned under federal law, but not explicitly under state law.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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