A bill which seeks to ban therapies
that attempt to alter a minor's sexual orientation from gay to
straight is expected to be introduced in New York on Friday.
According to The
Huffington Post, the measure is being backed by two Democrats
from New York City, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman
The proposed legislation would prohibit
mental health professionals from engaging in “sexual orientation
efforts” with a minor. It is modeled after California's
first-in-the-nation law, which is currently on hold pending two
Glick, who is openly gay, decided to
proceed despite the legal challenges.
“There are often challenges to any
manner of legislation that is protecting of the LGBT community and
you can't sit on your hands and wait until things get resolved
somewhere else,” Glick said.
New York becomes the third state after
New Jersey to introduce such a bill.
to ban 'ex-gay' therapy in New Jersey advances.)
Glick said that she has heard
first-hand accounts of the damage such therapies can cause minors
through her work with LGBT homeless teens.
“You start to hear the same stories
over and over again. 'They tried to make me straight and they took
me to …,' or, 'I couldn't become – and so they threw me out.'
The rate of suicide, the level of depression, the kind of bullying in
school that is focused on homophobic epithets, even when students
clearly are not gay. So there's clearly an issue about being more
supportive toward gay youth.”
Mathew Staver, chairman of the
Christian conservative Liberty Counsel, the group behind one of legal
challenges to California's law, has called such therapy “beneficial”
to the minors he's representing.
“We filed the lawsuit because the
minors that we represent have been receiving this counsel and have
been benefiting. Their anger, their self-hatred, their relationships
with their friends, the relationships with their families have all
improved since they've received this kind of counseling. And it
would be irreparable and harm to them to ultimately stop this in
midstream,” Staver told the AP.
California State Senator Ted Lieu, who
sponsored the law, has called so-called reparative therapy
“The notion that you can change
someone's sexual orientation and that homosexuality is a disease or
mental illness is pure quackery,” Lieu said. “Patients were
suffering tremendous psychological harm from gay conversion therapy,
including guilt, self-hatred and some of them committed suicide.”