Spin Cycle

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ALBANY - ALBANY _ New York’s Assembly on Wednesday advanced a bill that would prohibit so-called conversion therapy that tries to turn gay youths straight.

Assmb. Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan)  sponsored the bill and called conversion therapy “a shameful practice that is taking a toll on young New Yorkers.”

The measure has long been sought by the powerful gay, lesbian and transgender supporters in New York, but faces little chance of gaining Senate approval.  The bill is introduced in the Senate, but its sponsors are minority party Democrats. The Senate’s Republican majority controls legislation.

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"Sexual orientation is neither a choice nor an illness, and it is dangerous to regard it as such," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) "Conversion therapy poses a tremendous risk to the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and cannot be allowed to continue. Suggesting that sexual orientation can be changed or ‘fixed’ is unacceptable and defies sense and respect for human dignity.”

Last year, a 17-year-old transgender teen in Ohio committed suicide and left a note saying her parents had forced her undergo conversion therapy.

            Under the proposal, licensed therapists could face sanctions for practicing conversion therapy on patients younger than 18 years old. Eighteen states have introduced similar measures.