Prohibition on “Conversion Therapy” for Minors Passes NYS Senate and Assembly

NYSPA is very pleased to announce that both houses of the NYS Legislature have passed legislation that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from engaging in efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation (so-called “conversion therapy”) and would define such efforts as professional misconduct (A.576, Glick/S.1046, Hoylman).  The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 57-4 and the Assembly by a vote of 141-7. Governor Cuomo has already announced his intention to sign the bills into law stating, “Conversion therapy belongs in the dustbin of history. Looking forward to signing this bill and ending this discredited, harmful practice in New York State.”  If signed into law, this legislation would make New York the 15th state to ban conversion therapy for minors. 

Passage of this legislation represents a collaborative effort as NYSPA partnered with MSSNY, the NYS Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers – New York State and New York City, the New York Society for Clinical Social Work, LGBTQ advocacy organizations, medical specialty societies and a broad array of MH/SUD consumer and provider organizations. These efforts build on actions taken by Governor Cuomo in 2016 to prohibit coverage and reimbursement of conversion therapy by insurers, health plans and the Medicaid program and barring the provision of conversion therapy in mental health facilities operated or funded by the State.

NYSPA wishes to thank all of its members who have taken the time to write and call their legislators in support of this legislation over the years, a critical component in our advocacy efforts, and would like to acknowledge Barry B. Perlman, M.D., Past Chair of NYSPA’s Committee on Legislation, Jack Drescher, M.D., and Frank Dowling, M.D., whose leadership and advocacy, including trips to Albany, made this historic success possible. 

Please click here to view a copy of our joint press release regarding the legislation.