This is why New York City is urgently lifting its ban on gay conversion therapy

New York City is set to repeal its ban on gay conversion therapy in a bid to avoid a negative Supreme Court challenge.

The city council is taking steps to overturn the 2017 ban amid fears that a lawsuit filed by a conservative Christian group against the measure could be taken up by the Supreme Court.

The council has been forced to repeal the ban because of concerns that the Supreme Court panel, weighted in favour of conservative viewpoints, could issue a country-wide ruling protecting gay conversion therapy if it took up the case.

Council speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, said on Thursday, September 12, that the body would act quickly to overturn the measure in what he described as a “painful decision,”  reports NBC News

He introduced a bill to the council to overturn the regulation, which could be signed into effect by mayor Bill de Blasio as soon as the end of this month.

New York City officials previously avoided a Supreme Court challenge in July, when the police department changed a regulation that limited members of the public from carrying guns outside their homes in response to a potential challenge by the court.

“Obviously I didn’t want to repeal this. I don’t want to be someone who is giving in to these right-wing groups,” said Johnson in an interview, according to The New York Times.

“But the Supreme Court has become conservative; the Second Circuit, which oversees New York, has become more conservative.”

Campaigners feared Supreme Court challenge against gay conversion therapy ban.

A conservative Christian group filed a lawsuit against New York City’s ban on gay conversion therapy. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty)

However, a state-wide ban on gay conversion therapy concerning individuals below the age of 18, which was passed earlier this year, will remain in place.

Arizona-based group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is behind a number of anti-LGBT+ legal cases, filed a lawsuit in January challenging the ban on the grounds that it violated freedom of speech.

Obviously I didn’t want to repeal this. I don’t want to be someone who is giving in to these right-wing groups.

At least 18 states in the USA have measures banning gay conversion therapy in some form, including New Jersey, California and Oregon.

Around 55 cities or municipalities, including New York City, prohibit the practice, such as Denver in Colorado, Lakewood in Ohio, and Sheboygan in Wisconsin.