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S00263 Summary:

BILL NOS00263
 
SAME ASSAME AS A03977
 
SPONSORHOYLMAN
 
COSPNSRGIANARIS, ADDABBO, ALCANTARA, AVELLA, BAILEY, BENJAMIN, BOYLE, BRESLIN, BROOKS, CARLUCCI, COMRIE, DILAN, HAMILTON, KAMINSKY, KAVANAGH, KENNEDY, KLEIN, KRUEGER, MAYER, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, PERALTA, PERSAUD, RIVERA, SANDERS, SAVINO, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO, STAVISKY, VALESKY
 
MLTSPNSR
 
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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S00263 Actions:

BILL NOS00263
 
01/04/2017REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
03/13/2017NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
04/25/2017REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
01/03/2018REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
03/19/2018NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
05/08/2018REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
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S00263 Memo:

Memo not available
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S00263 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           263
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 4, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by Sens. HOYLMAN, GIANARIS, AVELLA, BOYLE, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI,
          DILAN, HAMILTON, KENNEDY, KRUEGER, LATIMER, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, PERAL-
          TA,  PERKINS,  RIVERA, SAVINO, SERRANO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY, VALESKY --
          read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  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.
                                                                   LBD03143-01-7

        S. 263                              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

        S. 263                              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

        S. 263                              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.

        S. 263                              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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