April 9, 2015 By Michael Florio
In the wake of President Barack Obama’s recent comments condemning “conversion therapy,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris has renewed his call to ban the practice in New York.
Gianaris, who co-sponsored a bill in 2013 that would ban conversion therapy for minors, is calling on his fellow legislators again to pass it.
Conversion therapy, which has been debunked by scientists for decades, involves a range of psychological treatments that aim to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
The bill Gianaris is championing [S4917B] would prohibit mental health care professionals from trying to change a person’s sexual orientation who is under 18 years of age.
“President Obama joined the chorus of voices calling for the end of this abhorrent practice, and it is up to us to respond quickly and firmly,” Gianaris said.
The New York senate bill reads, in part:
“Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming,” it states. The bill also notes that the therapy does not put forward the case that the individual may experience “happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian.”
Gianaris said that the conversion therapy is based on intolerance and not psychology.
“For New York to live up to its role as a leader in the fight for LGBT rights, we need to protect children from this intolerant pseudo-science,” Gianaris added.
Maybe Gianaris could focus his time on things that actually impact his district, eg, infrastructure improvements, instead of writing fluff bills to gin up donations and pad his credentials for the next election. I think conversion therapy is a terrible thing, but I wouldn’t put banning it as a priority for the district. Someone more focused on this neighborhood’s needs should challenge him in the next primary.