August 21, 2013 2:56 PM
|New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman is one three Albany legislators
who are pushing for a state ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for gay teens to
attempt to turn them heterosexual.
Hoylman is the state’s only openly gay senator.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/albany-pols-push-
Three New York lawmakers are using the controversy over a New Jersey law banning teen anti-gay therapy to push similar legislation in New York.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made national news this week when he signed a bill abolishing the therapy that attempts to turn gay teens straight.
Now, State Sens. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick say New York pols should swiftly pass a similar bill they introduced earlier this year that stalled in Albany.
“Conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other … leading mental health organizations,” said Hoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator.
The New York bill would bar mental health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.
If enacted, a licensed mental health provider who ignored the law would be cited for unprofessional conduct and subject to licensing sanctions.
Similar legislation has been enacted in California. Christie, who is eyeing a GOP presidential run in 2016, endorsed it this week.
“This is not a hyperpartisan issue,” said Gianaris, the senate’s deputy Democratic leader. “This is about protecting young people who are being forced to believe that the way they are is wrong, when it’s not.”
Glick said conversion therapy “adds to a hostile environment” at a time when the gay community has been subjected to increased bullying and gay bashing.
The Daily News reported on Sunday that the NYPD is on pace to investigate about twice the number of anti-gay incidents in 2013 — from slurs to felony assaults — compared to 2012. The crimes include the May 18 murder of a 32-year-old man in Greenwich Village.
Melissa Ingraham, a licensed mental health counselor with the Christian Counseling Center in upstate Johnson City, argued that the bill would keep some teens from getting the help they want.
“If someone has an attraction to someone of the same sex that they don’t want, they should have the ability to pursue counseling to work it out,” Ingraham said.