ALBANY, New York, January 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a move various media outlets are hailing as “historic,” the New York legislature passed two bills this week that add “gender identity” to the state’s wide-ranging non-discrimination rules and banning medical professionals from treating minors for unwanted homosexual attraction.
The so-called Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) bans “discrimination based on gender identity or expression,” making gender-confused individuals a protected class for the purposes of housing, employment, and public accommodation regulations, and adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of factors that can elevate crimes to the status of “hate crimes.”
GENDA passed the State Assembly 100-40 and the State Senate 42-19 on Tuesday morning, the Daily Beast reported, after eight years of the bill passing the Assembly but dying in the Republican-controlled Senate. Last fall’s midterm elections delivered the Senate to Democrats, all 39 of whom co-sponsored the legislation.
“We are finally welcoming a fairer and more equal New York because of the bold and tireless leadership of trans and gender non-conforming New Yorkers,” LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York executive director Eric Lesh declared.
“This is an issue of basic fairness, and today marks an historic day for those in the LGBTQ community who fought tirelessly for the passage of this bill,” said New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has pledged to sign GENDA. “I applaud the Legislature for acting quickly to pass this critical component of our Justice Agenda.”
The same day, NBC News reported, the Assembly voted 134-3 and the Senate 57-4 for A03977, which defines it as “professional misconduct” for any mental health professional to engage in “sexual orientation change efforts” for any patient below age 18.
“Sexual-orientation change efforts” are defined as any that “seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex.”
The legislation “does not apply to counseling services provided by members of the clergy, or advice, information, or instruction provided by non-licensed individuals, churches, organizations, or not-for-profit businesses.”
Cuomo has endorsed A03977 as well, claiming that so-called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy “has done untold harm to too many young people.” Democrat bill author Brad Hoylman, an open homosexual, called the practice “among the worst frauds in history” and declared lawmakers must “do everything we can to nurture and protect our children as they discover their identities.”
Several states have enacted conversion therapy bans with varying degrees of severity over the past few years, but many former homosexuals, such as Angel Colon and Drew Berryessa, attest to the treatments’ success in improving their lives. They say they want others currently struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to have the same options that benefited them.
“While recovering in the hospital, I had time to reflect. I learned about forgiveness. Lord, I choose you,” Colon, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, said in June at a rally for ex-homosexuals opposing a failed California ban. “I want others to have the freedom to experience this.”
Pro-family advocates say LGBT activists oppose reparative therapy not out of concern for children’s mental health but because it undermines their ideological opposition to sex as a biological reality rather than a matter of perception.
Gov. Cuomo is also a vehement defender of abortion on demand, who has pledged to push “the most progressive agenda this state have ever seen,” including making abortion a state constitutional right.