US: New York Assembly set to vote on ‘gay cure’ ban for minors

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The New York State Assembly is set to vote today on a proposed ban on therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality in minors.

The therapy – which is condemned by nearly every major medical body, including the American Psychological Association – has recently been outlawed entirely in two states, New Jersey and California.

Brad Hoylman – the only openly gay member of the New York Senate – sponsored the legislation alongside Assembly member Deborah Glick, and describes the therapy as ‘nutty’.

He said: “On one level it’s pretty nutty stuff, but it’s happening in New York by licensed therapists.”

If passed, the bill would ban state-licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health practitioners and physicians from practising the therapy, though clergy would not be included.

The bill states: “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.

“Sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.

“It shall be professional misconduct for a mental health professional to engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon any patient under the age of eighteen years, and any mental health professional found guilty of such miscondut (…) shall be subject to penalties.”

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, claimed: “We see homosexual behaviour as the client’s or the patients attempt to repair something deficit within themselves, mainly masculinity.

“According to the theory of reparative therapy, the male homosexual is engaging in homosexual activity to connect to the masculinity he feels he possesses within himself.”