ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s Democratic-led Assembly is set to consider a bill on Wednesday that would ban “conversion” therapy for minors, the Associated Press reports. Bans on the practice have already gone into effect in New Jersey and California. A proposed ban was voted down in Illinois in April.
The American Psychological Association says there is no evidence that the so-called gay conversion therapy can change someone’s sexual orientation. A task force set up by the group found that it can cause distress and anxiety.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the measure and is the only openly gay member of the Senate, said he heard from a man who had electrodes attached to his genitalia to curb his homosexual desires, the AP article said.
“On one level it’s pretty nutty stuff,” Holyman was quoted as having said by the AP, “but it’s happening in New York by licensed therapists.”
The Democrat said that the bill would extend to New York state licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health practitioners and physicians. Clergy would not be included in the ban.
Opponents of the ban say that it may infringe on a person’s freedom of speech, although a federal judge in New Jersey upheld that state’s ban in November saying that the law does not violate free speech, the AP reports.