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New York bans gay conversion therapy, and passes historic trans protection law

Ella Braidwood January 15, 2019
New York state's Assembly, which has passed a bill banning gay conversion therapy

New York state's Assembly. (Wikimedia Commons)

UPDATED |The state of New York has passed bills banning gay conversion therapy and adding gender identity to its anti-discrimination legislation.

The state’s legislative body approved the bills on Tuesday (January 15), according to Democratic senator Brad Hoylman.

The bills had already been passed by New York’s Assembly but had previously faced resistance in the Senate.

Democrats in control of New York’s Senate and Assembly

However, with the Democrats holding a majority in both chambers, following the mid-term elections, the state’s lawmakers moved to pass the legislation.

Democratic senator Brad Hoylman, who sponsored both bills, said the gay “cure” ban would would stop health professionals from “engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with patients under the age of 18,” reports Democrat & Chronicle.

Hoylman, who took to Twitter to confirm the passing of the bill by the Senate, added: “So-called conversion therapy is child abuse—plain and simple.”

New York senator Brad Hoylman
Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the bills. (Senator Brad Hoylman)

The passing of the bill means that New York has become the fifteenth state to ban gay conversion therapy.

Other states that have banned the practice include New Hampshire, California, Maryland, and Connecticut.

The other bill, called the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which added gender identity to the state’s hate crime laws, was first put forward to the legislative body around 17 years ago but had faced opposition in the senate.

“So-called conversion therapy is child abuse—plain and simple.”

—Senator Brad Hoylman

“The New York State Senate just passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression and adding protections for transgender NYers to the state’s Hate Crimes Law,” Hoylman said on Twitter on Tuesday (January 15).

“Recognition, at long last. #GENDA.”

LGBT+ right campaigners praised the passing of the GENDA bill.

“After some 17 years of fighting for GENDA—a civil rights bill that will give transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers recourse to fight discriminatory anti-TGNC policies—we at long last TGNC New Yorkers no longer have to hide in the shadows for fear of being targeted,” said Kiara St. James, co-founder of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG).

“GENDA gives TGNC New Yorkers long overdue CODIFIED protections that cis-gender folks take for granted.

“Now we all can truly bask in the sunshine of Equality in New York State.”

Transgender protections set to be added to New York legislation

New York state’s proposal to ban gay “cure” therapy comes after Denver City Council, Colorado, recently passed a ban on the practice.

The city-wide ban in Denver, Colorado, is the latest in a wave of bills across the US seeking to tackle the discredited practice of attempting to “change” sexual orientation or gender identity.

Denver City Council members unanimously voted for a city-wide ban on conversion therapy for minors on January 7.

This proposal is aimed at state-licensed therapists operating in the city, who Mayor of Denver Michael B. Hancock accused of “falsely claiming that being gay or transgender is a mental illness, and therefore taking advantage of parents and harming vulnerable youth.”

There is still, however, no state-wide ban on gay conversion therapy.

More: gay conversion therapy, New York, US

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