New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on
Saturday announced new regulations aimed at ending therapies that
attempt to alter the sexuality or gender identity of LGBT youth.
The governor's multi-agency regulations
ban public and private health care insurers from covering so-called
“conversion” therapy to individuals under the age of 18. Mental
health providers overseen by the New York State Office of Mental
Health will be prohibited from conducting the practice on minors.
“Conversion therapy is a hateful and
fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this
state stands for,” Cuomo said in a press release. “New York has
been at the forefront of acceptance and equality for the LGBT
community for decades – and today we are continuing that legacy and
leading by example. We will not allow the misguided and the
intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they
Renee Binder, president of the American
Psychiatric Association (APA), applauded the move.
“Governor Cuomo and the State of New
York are commended for taking a principled and scientific stand. APA
has long recognized that so-called reparative therapy is not a
scientifically validated treatment and can, in fact, undermine
self-esteem and be hazardous.”
In 2012, California lawmakers approved
and Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill banning the practice on minors
in that state. New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois and the District of
Columbia have followed suit.
Similar legislation in New York has
stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.