From Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl:
A leading LGBT advocacy group has launched a campaign to push for a bill that would keep youths from mental-health professionals who believe they can change a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
The bill would prohibit psychologists and other mental-health specialists from performing “sexual orientation change efforts” on those under the age of 18. The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, and Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens.
“Trying to change someone’s true identity through so-called therapy is a dangerous practice that can seriously harm our LGBT youth,” Nathan Schaefer, executive director of the group, said in a statement.
The advocacy group will launch a statewide campaign to raise awareness and push for the passage of the two bills.
“Anyone who says they can change an LGBT person from being who they are is preying off of fear and confusion to sell a practice that doesn’t work and cause lasting harm,” Schaefer said in a statement.
The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, among many other associations, oppose the practice and have found it to have detrimental effects on minors.
“It’s time for New York to protect our kids from this insidious practice, which has been thoroughly discredited by experts and poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of LGBT youth,” Hoylman said in a statement.
(AP file photo)