Empire State Pride Agenda, the state’s LGBT advocacy organization, praised the move on Facebook, thanking the bill’s author, Deborah Glick, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, both Democrats, for its swift passage.
Conversion therapy, as it is commonly called, is most often used on LGBT minors to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Formally barring the process is nothing new. Numerous medical and mental health organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association, have long denounced the practice. But the nationwide momentum to legally the bar practice is gaining steam following the December suicide of a young transwoman, Leelah Alcorn.
Earlier this month U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, re-introduced the Stop Harming Our Kids Resolution, which calls on states to protect minors from the practice, also known as “conversion therapy.”
President Barack Obama called for an end to the discredited practice earlier this month in response to a WhiteHouse.gov petition written by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and signed by more than 120,00 people calling for a ban on the practice.
Similar bills have gained steam in other states and already California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. have enacted laws protecting LGBT youth from conversion therapy. In Texas, Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, introduced HB 3495 to ban conversion therapy. It is currently awaiting a committee hearing.