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A00576 Summary:

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 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  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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