Governor Cuomo Bans The Use Of Conversion Therapy Within State Borders

Statue of Liberty
Over the weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his state would ban public and private insurers from covering conversion therapy for minors. mike, CC BY-ND 2.0

The era of conversion therapy is over in New York.

On Saturday, Jan. 6, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would issue a series of executive actions aimed at delegitimizing the practice within the state. These multi-agency regulations will ban public and private health insurers from covering conversion therapy for anyone under the age of 18. Similarly, juvenile facilities under the jurisdiction of the New York State Office of Mental Health will be forbidden to provide conversion therapy to their patients.

"Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for," said Governor Cuomo in a statement. "New York has been at the forefront of acceptance and equality for the LGBT community for decades – and today we are continuing that legacy and leading by example. We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are."

For the uninitiated, conversion therapy is the term for a wide-spanning range of techniques intended to strip away a person's attraction to the same sex and replace it with a heterosexual orientation. It's also called reparative or, more plainly, ex-gay therapy.

Though it's previously received plenty of support from mainstream psychiatric circles, the last few decades have seen an unapologetic dismissal from organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, which have called it outdated, harmful, and prejudicial — that it doesn't even work is merely icing on the cake. As previously reported by Medical Daily, however, there are still individuals who have been subjected to conversion therapy in the recent past.

New York joins  New Jersey and California in enforcing a ban on conversion therapy, though it is the first to do so via executive action. Previous attempts to introduce similar legislation last year and in 2014 made it through the State Assembly but were ultimately defeated in the Senate.

Cuomo's decision has already received plenty of accolades from his mayoral counterpart in New York City Bill de Blasio, health officials, and LGBT advocates alike.

"No young person should suffer at the hands of the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy," said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. "GLAAD applauds Governor Cuomo's courageous stand against bigotry and bias, continuing his legacy of advancing equality and acceptance for LGBT New Yorkers."

Loading...
Join the Discussion