Stonewall Democrats of WNY (SDWNY) commends the NYS Assembly on the passage of the bill to ban anti-LGBT conversion therapy in NYS for minors (A. 06983). SDWNY thanks Assemblymember Glick for her great leadership on the issue in the Assembly, and especially thanks the members of our local pro-equality NYS legislative delegation—Assemblymembers Sean Ryan and Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Sen. Tim Kennedy— for their advocacy on this legislation to protect New York’s children from the long outdated and discredited practice of anti-LGBT conversion therapy. SDWNY extends our gratitude to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his statement in support of the legislation.

Reparative therapy, also known as conversion therapy, is an extremely dangerous, and professionally discredited means of therapy though which a practitioner attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. While the more vocal of such practices have been professionally discredited for years, there remains even today a segment of our population who practice this therapy, and subject adults, teenagers and children to this harmful process of false psychology and damage. The Southern Poverty Law Center, the internationally known civil rights organization, has identified several professional facilities operating in New York State which offer reparative therapy.

“We deeply thank our Assemblymembers Ryan and Peoples-Stokes for their great leadership on this issue of protecting our most vulnerable LGBT youth,” said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. “We thank also local activist Paul Morgan and the group Western New Yorkers Against Conversion Therapy (WNYACT) for organizing on this issue, and working so strongly this legislative session to pass this bill and protect our children. We look to the Senate now to act, where WNY has had the great fortune of having Sen. Kennedy be a strong and leading voice for this bill’s passage. We urge the Senate to act now and pass Assemblymember Glick’s legislation, and we look forward to our great Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing these urgently needed protections into law.”