By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 14 2014 10:02 PM ET
Following in the footsteps of California and New Jersey, state legislators in New York and Minnesota have introduced bills to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from performing so-called ex-gay therapy on minors.
Both pieces of legislation were introduced Monday. In New York, Assembly member Deborah Glick introduced the bill in her chamber, with senators Brad Hoylman and Michael Gianaris handling a companion bill in the state Senate, according to the Empire State Pride Agenda, the statewide LGBT rights group. In Minnesota, Karen Clark and Susan Allen introduced the bill in the House of Representatives, the news site Twin Cities Daily Planet reports.
Most major associations of mental health professionals consider therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation to be ineffective and harmful, opponents of such therapy note. “Trying to change someone’s true identity through so-called therapy is a dangerous practice that can seriously harm our LGBT youth,” said Pride Agenda executive director Nathan M. Schaefer in a press release. “Anyone who says they can change an LGBT person from being who they are is preying off of fear and confusion to sell a practice that doesn’t work and causes lasting harm.”
California passed legislation banning the use of such therapy on minors in 2012, and New Jersey followed last year. Both laws have been challenged in court but upheld. Similar legislation is under consideration in several other states.