April 30, 2018

Assembly Passes Measure to Prohibit
Conversion Therapy for Minors

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced the Assembly has passed legislation that would ban mental health professionals from engaging in efforts to change a patient's sexual orientation that is under the age of 18 (A.3977, Glick).

"The Assembly Majority, along with countless professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers, recognizes that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not a mental illness or shortcoming," said Speaker Heastie. "That is why year after year, we have passed legislation to ban the unethical practice of conversion therapy on minors."

"Conversion therapy is a discredited, risky and immoral procedure that shames individuals for being who they are," said Assemblymember Glick, sponsor of the bill. "It is past time that we do what is right and protect the physical and psychological well-being of our youth."

In 2009, The American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation that concluded sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people ranging from confusion and depression, to substance abuse and suicide.

The bill would require that any mental health professional that is found to have violated this prohibition would be subject to professional misconduct and its applicable penalties.