The New York Senate has blocked two bills passed by the Assembly last week — one banning gay conversion therapy for minors, as well as the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA).
The Empire State Pride Agenda reacts:
There is no good reason why two bills critically important to the lives of LGBT New Yorkers did not pass in the Senate this session. The Senate Leadership failed us today by not bringing these life-saving bills to the floor for a vote.
Without GENDA New York remains behind more than one third of the country that already provides protections for transgender individuals. By not passing the bill to protect LGBT youth from conversion efforts, our youth remain vulnerable to harm at the hands of quack therapists.
The failure of the Senate Leadership to bring these bills to the floor for a vote leaves thousands of transgender New Yorkers vulnerable to discrimination where we work and where we live. And children are left susceptible to dangerous and discredited conversion efforts in the offices of so-called therapists licensed by the State of New York.
We will not give up. We will hold our elected officials accountable for their failure yet again to protect LGBT New Yorkers.
“It's bitterly disappointing that the State Senate bowed to partisan politics and failed to protect our kids in New York from so-called 'conversion therapy,' which considers homosexuality a sickness that needs to be cured. This bill had the votes to pass the Senate, virtually unanimous support from mental health professionals, and was modeled after legislation passed with bi-partisan support in California and New Jersey, where it was signed by Republican Governor Chris Christie.
The bottom line is until we change the leadership of the State Senate, New Yorkers can continue to expect forward-thinking bills to stall. Add conversion therapy to the pile of failed progressive initiatives in the Senate, which includes a decent minimum wage, codifying a woman's right to choose, the DREAM Act, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and others. I want to thank Governor Cuomo, my co-sponsors Assembly Member Deborah Glick and Senator Mike Gianaris, my supportive Senate colleagues from both parties, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and the scores of individuals who shared their deeply personal stories about their experiences with sexual orientation change efforts. I will continue to work with all of them to outlaw this practice.”