Coalition of WNY lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and allied community and mental health professionals and organizations stand with WNYACT and state legislators to announce efforts to outlaw this outdated and harmful therapy

Western New Yorkers Against Conversion Therapy (WNYACT) will announce the launch of their efforts to protect New York’s children from the long outdated and discredited practice of anti-LGBT conversion therapy. They will stand alongside WNY community leaders and mental health professionals, as NYS legislators Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Assemblymember Sean Ryan detail legislation that will ban the pseudoscientific practice of conversion therapy, which has been demonstrated to cause serious harm and negatively impact the long-term physical and mental health of individuals subjected to it.

Conversion therapy is often defined as a range of harmful, misguided and disproven treatments condemned by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that aim to change the sexual orientation of an individual from homosexual to heterosexual. Currently, the APA instructs ethical practitioners to refrain from attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation. Along with the APA, the American Medical Association, the American School Counselor Associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association Governing Council, the American Psychoanalytic Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry—with countless other professional organizations—view conversion therapy as long discredited.

The newly formed WNYACT seeks to protect New York State’s most vulnerable children from practitioners of this scientifically discredited, demonstrably harmful practice. WNYACT looks to join the states of New Jersey, California, Virginia and others by passing legislation protecting children from these abusive practices. WNYACT stands with all nationally recognized childhood development and mental health authorities, as well as state and local leaders in support of the proposed legislation to ban this practice.

WNYACT will work with the WNY community to demonstrate the broad support that exists within our region for this much-needed legislation. Sen. Kennedy and Assemblymember Ryan are cosponsoring the legislation (S.4971a/A.6983a), which is carried in the Senate and Assembly by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

To read the legislation, please visit: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S4917A-2013.