Celebrating the Passage of GENDA and a Ban on Conversion Therapy
During the first week of the new session, in January 2019, the legislature passed my bill which bans Conversion Therapy practices from being administered to minors. While adults can make their own decisions, in the State of New York no person under the legal age of 18 who is questioning their sexuality or gender identity can be forced by a parent or guardian to participate in this much discredited “treatment.” Conversion Therapy allows charlatans not operating as mental health professionals to engage in discredited and dangerous treatments to try to”change” someone’s sexual orientation and does grave harm to the individual subjected to it. Additionally, on that same day the Assembly and Senate passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) which ensures that gender identity and gender expression are defined as protected classes in New York State human rights and hate crimes laws. For many years, New Yorkers who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming have been left out of basic civil rights protections afforded to those who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. I was pleased to co-sponsor this vital piece of legislation that will bring these laws into the 21st Century and ensure that all members of the LGBTQ community are given a voice and protected in New York State.