Suffolk Lawmakers Want Vote On Conversion Therapy Ban

Jun 16, 2016

Suffolk County Legislator and physician Dr. William Spencer, D-Centerport, speaks to the media on Wednesday in support of legislation banning conversion therapy.
Credit Christopher Cameron / WSHU

A group of Suffolk County lawmakers called on leaders in the New York State Senate to pass legislation banning conversion therapy before the legislative session ends on Thursday.

The purpose of conversion therapy is to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s widely viewed among medical professionals and organizations, such as the American Psychiatric Association, as harmful pseudoscience.

Legislator William Spencer, D-Centerport, says the massacre at the gay bar in Orlando highlights the continued intolerance towards the LGBT community.

“The time is now. We want to do it before the legislators go into recess. What a better way to stand in solidarity, especially in light of this horrific tragedy.”

In February Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an executive action prohibiting health care insurers from covering the conversion therapy. The bill to permanently ban it remains stalled in a Senate committee.