Human rights

Massachusetts now prohibits conversion therapy for minors

A supporter of gay marriage waves a rainbow flag outside the Massachusetts State House,
Photo: Michael Springer/Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Monday signed a legislation into law banning conversion therapy — a practice that attempts to change someone's sexual orientation — for minors in the state, MassLive reports.

Why it matters: This makes Massachusetts the 16th state, including the District of Columbia, to outlaw the practice that is widely opposed by the mainstream medical community as both ineffective and dangerous. A 2018 study by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University found that rates of attempted suicide by LGBT youths whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation were more than double the rate of those who reported no such attempts.

Expert Voices

Indonesia's elections could shape the future of its democratic gains

Joko Widodo on stage
Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a campaign rally in Ngawi, Indonesia. Photo: Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of Indonesia’s elections on April 17, sitting president Joko Widodo has a lead of double digits in many polls over his challenger, Prabowo Subianto.

Why it matters: Until recently, Indonesia has been a model of democratization. Though those gains have slipped under Jokowi — as the incumbent is also known — and Islamist groups have gained some power, Prabowo could pose a greater risk to the country's fragile progress.