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A00576 Summary:

BILL NOA00576
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01046
 
SPONSORGlick (MS)
 
COSPNSRJaffee, O'Donnell, Barrett, Zebrowski, Rosenthal L, Abinanti, Arroyo, Buchwald, Bronson, Magnarelli, Weprin, Lifton, Seawright, Gottfried, Blake, Burke, Carroll, Cruz, Epstein, Fall, Frontus, Griffin, Jacobson, McMahon, Otis, Reyes, Romeo, Taylor, De La Rosa, Ortiz, Dickens, Mosley, Byrne, Cahill, Dinowitz, Walker, Fernandez, Bichotte, Kim
 
MLTSPNSRCook, Englebright, Galef, Hevesi, Lavine, Nolan, Richardson, Ryan, Steck, Stirpe, Thiele
 
Add 6509-e & 6531-a, Ed L
 
Designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.
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A00576 Actions:

BILL NOA00576
 
01/09/2019referred to higher education
01/14/2019reported referred to codes
01/14/2019reported referred to rules
01/14/2019reported
01/14/2019rules report cal.1
01/14/2019ordered to third reading rules cal.1
01/15/2019passed assembly
01/15/2019delivered to senate
01/15/2019REFERRED TO RULES
01/15/2019SUBSTITUTED FOR S1046
01/15/20193RD READING CAL.1
01/15/2019PASSED SENATE
01/15/2019RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
01/15/2019delivered to governor
01/25/2019signed chap.7
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A00576 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A576
 
SPONSOR: Glick (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orien- tation change efforts with a patient under the age of eighteen years and expanding the definition of professional misconduct with respect to mental health professionals   PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit a mental health professional, as defined, from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, with a patient under 18 years of age. The bill would provide that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a licensed mental health professional shall be considered unprofes- sional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider's licensing entity.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill adds new Sections 6509-d and 6531-a to the Education Law regu- lating professional misconduct. Section 1 establishes the legislative intent of the bill. Sections 2 and 3 define certain terms and provide that the license, registration or certificate of a mental health professional shall be revoked, suspended or annulled, or such professional shall be subject to discipline by the provider's licensing entity, if such mental health professional engages in sexual orientation change efforts upon any patient under the age of eighteen years old. The bill only applies to mental health professionals licensed with the State of New York under Articles 131, 153, 154, or 163 of the Education Law, and does not apply to counseling services provided by members of the clergy, or advice, information, or instruction provided by non-licensed individuals, churches, organizations, or not-for-profit businesses. Section 4 establishes the effective date of this law as immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: 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. The American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appro- priate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in 2009 which concluded that 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. In response to these findings, the Association issued a resolution, which stated that portraying homosexuality as a mental illness should instead give way to psychotherapy, social support, and educational services. The American School Counselor Associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association Governing Council, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization have all concluded that the risks of conversion therapy are too great. These dangerous treatments that attempt to address depression, anxiety and self-destructive behav- ior may only serve to reinforce self-hatred. While much has been published on this topic, an article by Caitlin Ryan et al. entitled "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults" states welt in its conclusion that minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation face especially serious health risks. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection. In these harmful procedures, the possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to deal- ing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed. New York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.3977 of 2017-18: Passed Assembly A.4958 of 2015-16: Passed Assembly S.4917-B of 2013-2014 (Hoylman): Died in Higher Education A.6983-8 of 2013-2014 (Glick): Died in Higher Education (2013)/Passed Assembly (2014)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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A00576 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           576
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 9, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. GLICK, JAFFEE, O'DONNELL, BARRETT, ZEBROWSKI,
          L. ROSENTHAL, ABINANTI, ARROYO, BUCHWALD, BRONSON, MAGNARELLI, WEPRIN,
          LIFTON, SEAWRIGHT -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK, ENGLEBRIGHT,
          GALEF, HEVESI, LAVINE, RICHARDSON, RYAN, STECK, STIRPE, THIELE -- read
          once and referred to the Committee on Higher Education
 
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in  relation  to  prohibiting  mental
          health  professionals  from  engaging  in  sexual  orientation  change
          efforts with a patient under the age of eighteen years  and  expanding
          the  definition  of  professional  misconduct  with  respect to mental
          health professionals
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.    Legislative findings and intent. The Legislature hereby
     2  finds and declares all of the following:
     3    a. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual  or  transgender  is  not  a  disease,
     4  disorder,  illness,  deficiency,  or shortcoming. The major professional
     5  associations of mental  health  practitioners  and  researchers  in  the
     6  United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
     7    b.  The  American  Psychological  Association convened a Task Force on
     8  Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task  force
     9  conducted  a  systematic  review  of peer-reviewed journal literature on
    10  sexual orientation change efforts, and issued a report in 2009. The task
    11  force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical
    12  health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people,  including
    13  confusion,  depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social
    14  withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment,  self-
    15  blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-
    16  hatred,  hostility  and  blame  toward  parents,  feelings  of anger and
    17  betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners,  problems  in
    18  sexual  and  emotional  intimacy,  sexual  dysfunction, high-risk sexual
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05039-01-9

        A. 576                              2
 
     1  behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss  of
     2  faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
     3    c.  The  American  Psychological  Association  issued  a resolution on
     4  Appropriate Affirmative Responses to  Sexual  Orientation  Distress  and
     5  Change Efforts in 2009, which states: The American Psychological Associ-
     6  ation  advises  parents,  guardians, young people, and their families to
     7  avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as  a
     8  mental  illness  or  developmental  disorder  and to seek psychotherapy,
     9  social supports, and educational services that provide accurate informa-
    10  tion on sexual orientation and sexuality,  increase  family  and  school
    11  support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.
    12    d. The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement
    13  in  March  of  2000 in which it stated: "Psychotherapeutic modalities to
    14  convert or 'repair' homosexuality are based  on  developmental  theories
    15  whose   scientific  validity  is  questionable.  Furthermore,  anecdotal
    16  reports of 'cures' are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psycholog-
    17  ical harm. In the last four decades, 'reparative'  therapists  have  not
    18  produced  any  rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims
    19  of cure. Until there is such research available, the American  Psychiat-
    20  ric  Association  recommends  that  ethical  practitioners  refrain from
    21  attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation, keeping in mind  the
    22  medical  dictum to first, do no harm.  The potential risks of reparative
    23  therapy are great, including depression,  anxiety  and  self-destructive
    24  behavior,  since  therapist  alignment  with societal prejudices against
    25  homosexuality may  reinforce  self-hatred  already  experienced  by  the
    26  patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that
    27  they  were  inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy indi-
    28  viduals who never achieve acceptance or  satisfaction.  The  possibility
    29  that  the  person  might  achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal
    30  relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alterna-
    31  tive approaches to dealing with the effects of  societal  stigmatization
    32  discussed.   Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any
    33  psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which  is
    34  based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder
    35  or  based  upon  the  a  priori  assumption that a patient should change
    36  his/her sexual orientation."
    37    e. The American School Counselor Association's position  statement  on
    38  professional  school  counselors  and  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgen-
    39  dered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth states: It is not the role  of  the
    40  professional  school  counselor  to attempt to change a student's sexual
    41  orientation/gender identity but instead  to  provide  support  to  LGBTQ
    42  students  to promote student achievement and personal well-being. Recog-
    43  nizing that sexual orientation is not an illness and  does  not  require
    44  treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student
    45  planning or responsive services to LGBTQ students to promote self-accep-
    46  tance,  deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to coming
    47  out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through
    48  this process and identify appropriate community resources.
    49    f. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1993 published an article  in
    50  its  journal,  Pediatrics,  stating:  Therapy  directed  at specifically
    51  changing sexual orientation is contraindicated,  since  it  can  provoke
    52  guilt  and  anxiety  while  having  little or no potential for achieving
    53  changes in orientation.
    54    g. The American Medical  Association  Council  on  Scientific  Affairs
    55  prepared a report in 1994 in which it stated: Aversion therapy (a behav-
    56  ioral  or  medical  intervention which pairs unwanted behavior , in this

        A. 576                              3
 
     1  case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive conse-
     2  quences) is no longer recommended for  gay  men  and  lesbians.  Through
     3  psychotherapy,  gay  men  and lesbians can become comfortable with their
     4  sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.
     5    h.  The  National Association of Social Workers prepared a 1997 policy
     6  statement in which it stated: Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay  and
     7  bisexual  people  is  widespread  and  is a primary motivating factor in
     8  leading some people to seek sexual orientation  changes.  Sexual  orien-
     9  tation  conversion  therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both
    10  pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrates that reparative  or
    11  conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful.
    12    i.  The  American  Counseling  Association  Governing Council issued a
    13  position statement in April of 1999, and in it the  council  states:  We
    14  oppose  'the  promotion of 'reparative therapy' as a 'cure' for individ-
    15  uals who are homosexual.
    16    j. The American Psychoanalytic Association issued a position statement
    17  in June 2012 on attempts to change sexual orientation, gender, identity,
    18  or gender expression, and in it the  association  states:  As  with  any
    19  societal   prejudice,  bias  against  individuals  based  on  actual  or
    20  perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression nega-
    21  tively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stig-
    22  ma and pervasive self-criticism  through  the  internalization  of  such
    23  prejudice.    Psychoanalytic  technique  does  not  encompass purposeful
    24  attempts to 'convert,' 'repair,' change or shift an individual's  sexual
    25  orientation,  gender  identity  or  gender  expression.    Such directed
    26  efforts are against fundamental principles of  psychoanalytic  treatment
    27  and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damag-
    28  ing internalized attitudes.
    29    k.  The  American  Academy  of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012
    30  published an article in its journal, Journal of the American Academy  of
    31  Child  and  Adolescent  Psychiatry,  stating: Clinicians should be aware
    32  that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through
    33  therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful. There is  no  empir-
    34  ical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconform-
    35  ing  children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed, there
    36  is not medically valid basis for attempting  to  prevent  homosexuality,
    37  which  is  not  an  illness. On the contrary, such efforts may encourage
    38  family rejection and undermine self-esteem,  connectedness  and  caring,
    39  important  protective  factors  against  suicidal ideation and attempts.
    40  Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation
    41  are effect, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry
    42  the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.
    43    l. The Pan American Health Organization,  a  regional  office  of  the
    44  World  Health  Organization, issued a statement in May of 2012 and in it
    45  the organization states: These supposed conversion therapies  constitute
    46  a  violation  of the ethical principles of health care and violate human
    47  rights that are protected  by  international  regional  agreements.  The
    48  organization  also  noted  that reparative therapies lack medical justi-
    49  fication and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being  of
    50  affected people.
    51    m. Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orien-
    52  tation face especially serious health risks. In one study, lesbian, gay,
    53  and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection
    54  during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted
    55  suicide,  5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4
    56  times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4  times  more  likely  to

        A. 576                              4
 
     1  report  having  engaged  in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with
     2  peers from families that reported no or low levels of family  rejection.
     3  This  is  documented  by  Caitlin  Ryan et al. in their article entitled
     4  Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and
     5  Latino  Lesbian,  Gay,  and  Bisexual Young Adults (2009) 123 Pediatrics
     6  346.
     7    n. New York has a compelling interest in protecting the  physical  and
     8  psychological  well-being  of  minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual,
     9  and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure  to
    10  serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.
    11    §  2.  The  education law is amended by adding a new section 6509-e to
    12  read as follows:
    13    § 6509-e. Additional definition  of  professional  misconduct;  mental
    14  health professionals. 1. For the purposes of this section:
    15    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    16  provisions of article one hundred fifty-three, one hundred fifty-four or
    17  one hundred sixty-three of this title; or any other person designated as
    18  a mental health professional pursuant to law, rule or regulation.
    19    b. "Sexual orientation change efforts" (i) means  any  practice  by  a
    20  mental  health  professional that seeks to change an individual's sexual
    21  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    22  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    23  or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same  sex
    24  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    25  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    26  ance,  support  and  understanding  of  patients  or the facilitation of
    27  patients' coping, social support and identity exploration  and  develop-
    28  ment,  including  sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or
    29  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    30  to change sexual orientation.
    31    2. It shall be professional misconduct for  a  mental  health  profes-
    32  sional  to  engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon any patient
    33  under the age of eighteen years,  and  any  mental  health  professional
    34  found  guilty  of  such  misconduct  under  the procedures prescribed in
    35  section sixty-five hundred ten of this subarticle shall  be  subject  to
    36  the  penalties  prescribed  in section sixty-five hundred eleven of this
    37  subarticle.
    38    § 3. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  6531-a  to
    39  read as follows:
    40    §  6531-a.  Additional  definition  of professional misconduct; mental
    41  health professionals. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
    42    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    43  provisions of article one hundred thirty-one of this title.
    44    b.  "Sexual  orientation  change  efforts" (i) means any practice by a
    45  mental health professional that seeks to change an  individual's  sexual
    46  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    47  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    48  or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex;
    49  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    50  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    51  ance,  support  and  understanding  of  patients  or the facilitation of
    52  patients' coping, social support, and identity exploration and  develop-
    53  ment,  including  sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or
    54  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    55  to change sexual orientation.

        A. 576                              5
 
     1    2. It shall be professional misconduct for  a  mental  health  profes-
     2  sional  to  engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon any patient
     3  under the age of eighteen years,  and  any  mental  health  professional
     4  found guilty of such misconduct under the procedures prescribed in title
     5  two-A  of  article  two of the public health law shall be subject to the
     6  penalties prescribed in section  two  hundred  thirty-a  of  the  public
     7  health  law, as added by chapter six hundred six of the laws of nineteen
     8  hundred ninety-one.
     9    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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