BIG WIN, SMALL STEP

New York Assembly Passes Bill Banning Ex-Gay Therapy On Minors, But The Fight Isn’t Over

ex-gay-truth-wins-out-360x274The New York State Assembly has passed a bill banning harmful therapy on minors that attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Only New Jersey, California and Washington D.C. have successfully passed similar laws, leaving the vast majority of young people susceptible to their parents’ choice to forcibly engage them in the damaging practice.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, calls ex-gay therapy what it really is — “professional misconduct” — citing over a dozen major medical organizations on the harms of “ex-gay,” “reparative,” or “conversion” therapies, part of the larger group known as sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

“Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming,” the legislation asserts. “The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.”

A companion bill in the New York Senate has been sponsored by Brad Hoylman, who pushed for the legislation after President Obama made a national call to end ex-gay therapy on minors.

“What has changed is our political dynamics with the president’s support yesterday for banning state licensed conversion therapy,” Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, told Capital New York earlier this month. “I’m hopeful that that will create the impetus we need to get the bill to the floor.”

The New Civil Rights Movement reports it remains unclear whether the Senate has the votes to pass the bill, or if Governor Cuomo would sign it even if it did.