Photo by Matt H. Wade, CC BY-SA 3.0
Today, with bipartisan support, the New York State Assembly voted to protect minors from the damaging effects of conversion therapy. While the practice has been roundly denounced by every major medical organization in the country as well as, as of this month, President Obama, only Calfornia, New Jersey, and Washignton, D. C. have legal bans on its implementation on minors. The bill passed in the Assembly when it was first introduced in 2014, yet failed to progress when the NY State Senate refused to debate the issue. However, with support from both sides of the isles, and backing from the President, there is hope that the Senate will pick up the issue, allowing a bill to reach Governor Cuomo's desk by the end of this session.
Empire State Pride Agenda praised Assembly Sponsor Deborah J. Glick and Speaker Carl Heastie for moving the bill so swiftly through the chamber. Jane Shurka, mother of Mathew Shurka, a survivor of conversion therapy, spoke outside the Capitol Building yesterday at a rally, stressing the necessity of the ban"
“I don’t blame my ex or myself so much as I blame the therapist. He’s the one with the license and he convinced us that orientation can change when we didn’t know any better. If conversion therapy is not available to minors under 18, parents may question themselves and realize there’s a good reason not to do it. We must pass this bill and make conversion therapy illegal in New York. If it were illegal when my son was coming out, he may not have lost five precious years of his life to this dangerous practice. And I could have been the proud mom of a gay son a lot sooner!”
Currently, similar bills are working their way through more than a dozen states.