Target: Assembly Leadership Speaker for New York, Carl E. Heastie
Goal: Praise decision to protect minors from conversion therapy.
With bipartisan support, assembly members in New York recently voted to protect minors from conversion therapy. This decision proves to be a major step forward in the ongoing fight towards a country-wide ban on the controversial practice.
Conversion therapy, though denounced by major medical organizations in the United States, is still practiced widely, mostly among religious institutions, across the country. Considered a seriously flawed pseudoscience, many conversion therapists claim to have the ability to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression through questionable and, frankly, dangerous methods, such as electric shock therapy and ‘spiritual intervention.’
To date, California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. are the only places that have legal bans against the practice, prompting other states across the U.S. to question their stance on the issue. According to a Human Rights Campaign report, conversion therapy is especially damaging to minors and can lead to serious mental and health issues, such as depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and, ultimately, suicide.
A similar bill to ban the controversial therapy was introduced in New York in 2014, but failed to progress when the New York State Senate refused to debate the hot-button issue. However, with current support and backing from President Obama, the bill is now poised to be brought to Governor Cuomo’s attention soon.
With gay marriage now legal in the state, an official ban against the use of conversion therapy, especially in the case of minors, solidifies New York’s continued support and advocacy for LGBT rights, respect and well-being. Sign the petition to applaud New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie for the state’s efforts.
Dear Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie,
New York’s decision to officially place a ban on conversion therapy, especially in the case of minors, is cause for celebration. As an LGBT activist and supporter, I am all too familiar with the damaging effects of conversion therapy on youths and adults alike.
Conversion therapists have adopted dangerous and biased ideologies, most of which are religious, to justify their ‘reparative’ approach to ‘changing’ a person’s sexual orientation, gender expression or identity. Not only are these practices severely flawed, but they’ve been outlawed for decades by the American Psychiatric Association and U.S. Surgeon Generals.
There is no factual scientific evidence that proves that sexual orientation can be changed. And yet, countless youths and adults undergo grueling and ridiculous ‘tests’ and ‘treatment’ to ‘pray the gay away’ or abide by socially-constructed gender roles. Conversion therapy, according to the Human Rights Campaign, is linked to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and, ultimately, suicide.
I am deeply moved by New York’s decision to move forward with an official ban on conversion therapy. Coupled with the state’s legality of same-sex marriage, it is safe to say that New York supports the LGBT community wholeheartedly and respects its population entirely.
Thank you for your efforts!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BernardaAlba