New York City Proposes Repeal of ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
September 14, 2019New York
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The Council Speaker of New York City has proposed repealing a ban on conversion therapy, which is aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation.

A law banning conversion therapy for both adults and children went into effect last year, which was supported by Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The speaker, who is openly gay, said on Sept. 12 that he wants to repeal the ban because LGBT activists are concerned that the law may be stricken down by the Supreme Court in a federal lawsuit filed by a Christian organization.

“This was a painful decision that was made after leading LGBTQ advocates requested that the council repeal our 2017 bill,” said Johnson in a statement obtained by NTD News. “After intense deliberation, the council concluded that it was best to take this drastic step.”

Corey Johnson
Speaker of the New York City Council Corey Johnson in New York on June 4, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

He added that the decision does not change his perspective on conversion therapy, which he called “barbaric and inhumane.” The practice is widely discredited by various health institutions, including the American Psychological Association.

The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of a therapist against the City. The group is known for “litigating all the way to the Supreme Court.” And because the speaker believes that the courts have changed considerably—noting the justices appointed by President Donald Trump—he said the City cannot rely on them to rule in its favor.

“The New York City law that reaches into the psychologist’s office to censor the most private discussions between a citizen and his chosen counselor is just a textbook violation of freedom of speech,” said Senior Counsel Roger Brooks of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Fortunately, the City Council appears to have realized this sort of censorship is unconstitutional.”

At the state level, Governor Andrew Cuomo banned conversion therapy for minors. Johnson mentioned during the announcement that banning this form of therapy for adults is complicated because as an adult, it is up to the person to choose what kind of therapy they want.

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