Why the N.Y. City Council made the ‘painful’ decision to repeal its ban on conversion therapy
The Washington Post
By Marisa Iati
September 13, 2019
A New York City Council member on Thursday proposed repealing the city’s ban on conversion therapy to thwart a potential Supreme Court battle that could set precedent that would complicate efforts to outlaw the discredited practice.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s bill comes in response to a legal challenge from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian organization that alleges that the ban infringes upon freedom of speech and religion. The federal lawsuit, filed in January, targets the city’s ordinanceprohibiting people from charging others for conversion therapy, which includes any technique meant to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The decision to suggest eradicating the ban was “painful,” Johnson said in a statement. The council and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), a 2020 presidential hopeful, are expected to support the repeal, which would take effect by October.
“After intense deliberation, the Council concluded that it was best to take this drastic step,” said Johnson, who is gay. “The courts have changed considerably over the last few years, and we cannot count on them to rule in favor of much-needed protections for the LGBTQ community.”