An Erie County, New York lawmaker has
proposed a bill that would prohibit therapies that attempt to alter
the sexuality or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender youth (LGBT).
The bill, introduced last week by Erie
County Legislator Patrick Burke, is named the “Prevention of
Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment” or PENCE, a reference
to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who supports public funding for
Burke described such therapies, often
called conversion or ex-gay therapy, as a form of child abuse.
“The overwhelming evidence says that
inflicting this phony therapy on children and adolescents isn't just
medically ineffective, but it is detrimental to a child's wellbeing,”
told Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW. “It is time to call this
practice what it is, abuse. Kids are exceptionally effectible, and
the last thing an LGBTQ+ child needs is to be told that the way they
were born is wrong and must be changed.”
Debate on the bill is expected to begin
An executive order signed by Governor
Andrew Cuomo prohibits insurance reimbursements for such therapies.