On Tuesday, January 15, state legislatures voted to end the use of conversion therapy in New York on minors.
Under the new bill, therapists are prohibited “from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, with a
patient under 18 years of age.” The bill goes on to say:
“Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years…
…In these harmful procedures, the possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.
New York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.”
Along with this bill, a second piece legislation passed Tuesday as well—the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. This law makes it illegal for people to be denied housing, education, or work based on their identity or gender expression.
Governor Cuomo still has to sign these bills before they go into effect, however, he took to Twitter in support of both and is expected to sign them this week. Once signed, New York will officially be the 15th state to ban the use of conversion therapy in the United States.