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A03977 Summary:

BILL NOA03977
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00263
 
SPONSORGlick
 
COSPNSRTitone, Jaffee, O'Donnell, Barrett, Skoufis, Zebrowski, Rosenthal L, Buchwald, Magnarelli, Lifton, Mosley, Abinanti, Weprin, Bronson, Ortiz, Lavine, Pellegrino, Quart, D'Urso, Taylor, Simon, Dinowitz, Rodriguez, Sepulveda, Seawright, De La Rosa, Espinal, Simotas
 
MLTSPNSRByrne, Cook, Englebright, Epstein, Galef, Lupardo, Stirpe, Thiele
 
Add 6509-e & 6531-a, Ed L
 
Designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.
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A03977 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3977
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 30, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. GLICK, TITONE, JAFFEE, O'DONNELL, BARRETT, SKOUF-
          IS,  ZEBROWSKI,  ROSENTHAL, BUCHWALD, MAGNARELLI -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A. COOK, ENGLEBRIGHT, GALEF, STIRPE, THIELE -- read once  and
          referred to the Committee on Higher Education
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the education law, in relation to prohibiting mental
          health  professionals  from  engaging  in  sexual  orientation  change
          efforts  with  a patient under the age of eighteen years and expanding
          the definition of  professional  misconduct  with  respect  to  mental
          health professionals
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1.  Legislative findings and intent.  The  Legislature  hereby
     2  finds and declares all of the following:
     3    a.  Being  lesbian,  gay,  bisexual  or  transgender is not a disease,
     4  disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.  The  major  professional
     5  associations  of  mental  health  practitioners  and  researchers in the
     6  United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
     7    b. The American Psychological Association convened  a  Task  Force  on
     8  Appropriate  Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force
     9  conducted a systematic review of  peer-reviewed  journal  literature  on
    10  sexual orientation change efforts, and issued a report in 2009. The task
    11  force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical
    12  health  risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, including
    13  confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame,  social
    14  withdrawal,  suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-
    15  blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-
    16  hatred, hostility and  blame  toward  parents,  feelings  of  anger  and
    17  betrayal,  loss  of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in
    18  sexual and emotional  intimacy,  sexual  dysfunction,  high-risk  sexual
    19  behaviors,  a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of
    20  faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03143-01-7

        A. 3977                             2
 
     1    c. The American  Psychological  Association  issued  a  resolution  on
     2  Appropriate  Affirmative  Responses  to  Sexual Orientation Distress and
     3  Change Efforts in 2009, which states: The American Psychological Associ-
     4  ation advises parents, guardians, young people, and  their  families  to
     5  avoid  sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a
     6  mental illness or developmental  disorder  and  to  seek  psychotherapy,
     7  social supports, and educational services that provide accurate informa-
     8  tion  on  sexual  orientation  and sexuality, increase family and school
     9  support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.
    10    d. The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement
    11  in March of 2000 in which it stated:  "Psychotherapeutic  modalities  to
    12  convert  or  'repair'  homosexuality are based on developmental theories
    13  whose  scientific  validity  is  questionable.  Furthermore,   anecdotal
    14  reports of 'cures' are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psycholog-
    15  ical  harm.  In  the last four decades, 'reparative' therapists have not
    16  produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate  their  claims
    17  of  cure. Until there is such research available, the American Psychiat-
    18  ric Association  recommends  that  ethical  practitioners  refrain  from
    19  attempts  to change individuals' sexual orientation, keeping in mind the
    20  medical dictum to first, do no harm.  The potential risks of  reparative
    21  therapy  are  great,  including depression, anxiety and self-destructive
    22  behavior, since therapist alignment  with  societal  prejudices  against
    23  homosexuality  may  reinforce  self-hatred  already  experienced  by the
    24  patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that
    25  they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely,  unhappy  indi-
    26  viduals  who  never  achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility
    27  that the person might achieve  happiness  and  satisfying  interpersonal
    28  relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alterna-
    29  tive  approaches  to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization
    30  discussed.  Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes  any
    31  psychiatric  treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is
    32  based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder
    33  or based upon the a priori  assumption  that  a  patient  should  change
    34  his/her sexual orientation."
    35    e.  The  American School Counselor Association's position statement on
    36  professional school counselors and  lesbian,  gay,  bisexual,  transgen-
    37  dered,  and  questioning (LGBTQ) youth states: It is not the role of the
    38  professional school counselor to attempt to change  a  student's  sexual
    39  orientation/gender  identity  but  instead  to  provide support to LGBTQ
    40  students to promote student achievement and personal well-being.  Recog-
    41  nizing  that  sexual  orientation is not an illness and does not require
    42  treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student
    43  planning or responsive services to LGBTQ students to promote self-accep-
    44  tance, deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to  coming
    45  out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through
    46  this process and identify appropriate community resources.
    47    f.  The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1993 published an article in
    48  its journal,  Pediatrics,  stating:  Therapy  directed  at  specifically
    49  changing  sexual  orientation  is  contraindicated, since it can provoke
    50  guilt and anxiety while having little  or  no  potential  for  achieving
    51  changes in orientation.
    52    g.  The  American  Medical  Association  Council on Scientific Affairs
    53  prepared a report in 1994 in which it stated: Aversion therapy (a behav-
    54  ioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior  ,  in  this
    55  case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive conse-
    56  quences)  is  no  longer  recommended  for gay men and lesbians. Through

        A. 3977                             3
 
     1  psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become  comfortable  with  their
     2  sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.
     3    h.  The  National Association of Social Workers prepared a 1997 policy
     4  statement in which it stated: Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay  and
     5  bisexual  people  is  widespread  and  is a primary motivating factor in
     6  leading some people to seek sexual orientation  changes.  Sexual  orien-
     7  tation  conversion  therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both
     8  pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrates that reparative  or
     9  conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful.
    10    i.  The  American  Counseling  Association  Governing Council issued a
    11  position statement in April of 1999, and in it the  council  states:  We
    12  oppose  'the  promotion of 'reparative therapy' as a 'cure' for individ-
    13  uals who are homosexual.
    14    j. The American Psychoanalytic Association issued a position statement
    15  in June 2012 on attempts to change sexual orientation, gender, identity,
    16  or gender expression, and in it the  association  states:  As  with  any
    17  societal   prejudice,  bias  against  individuals  based  on  actual  or
    18  perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression nega-
    19  tively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stig-
    20  ma and pervasive self-criticism  through  the  internalization  of  such
    21  prejudice.    Psychoanalytic  technique  does  not  encompass purposeful
    22  attempts to 'convert,' 'repair,' change or shift an individual's  sexual
    23  orientation,  gender  identity  or  gender  expression.    Such directed
    24  efforts are against fundamental principles of  psychoanalytic  treatment
    25  and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damag-
    26  ing internalized attitudes.
    27    k.  The  American  Academy  of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012
    28  published an article in its journal, Journal of the American Academy  of
    29  Child  and  Adolescent  Psychiatry,  stating: Clinicians should be aware
    30  that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through
    31  therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful. There is  no  empir-
    32  ical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconform-
    33  ing  children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed, there
    34  is not medically valid basis for attempting  to  prevent  homosexuality,
    35  which  is  not  an  illness. On the contrary, such efforts may encourage
    36  family rejection and undermine self-esteem,  connectedness  and  caring,
    37  important  protective  factors  against  suicidal ideation and attempts.
    38  Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation
    39  are effect, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry
    40  the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.
    41    l. The Pan American Health Organization,  a  regional  office  of  the
    42  World  Health  Organization, issued a statement in May of 2012 and in it
    43  the organization states: These supposed conversion therapies  constitute
    44  a  violation  of the ethical principles of health care and violate human
    45  rights that are protected  by  international  regional  agreements.  The
    46  organization  also  noted  that reparative therapies lack medical justi-
    47  fication and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being  of
    48  affected people.
    49    m. Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orien-
    50  tation face especially serious health risks. In one study, lesbian, gay,
    51  and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection
    52  during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted
    53  suicide,  5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4
    54  times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4  times  more  likely  to
    55  report  having  engaged  in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with
    56  peers from families that reported no or low levels of family  rejection.

        A. 3977                             4
 
     1  This  is  documented  by  Caitlin  Ryan et al. in their article entitled
     2  Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and
     3  Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young  Adults  (2009)  123  Pediatrics
     4  346.
     5    n.  New  York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and
     6  psychological well-being of minors, including  lesbian,  gay,  bisexual,
     7  and  transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to
     8  serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.
     9    § 2. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  6509-e  to
    10  read as follows:
    11    §  6509-e.  Additional  definition  of professional misconduct; mental
    12  health professionals. 1. For the purposes of this section:
    13    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    14  provisions of article one hundred fifty-three, one hundred fifty-four or
    15  one hundred sixty-three of this title; or any other person designated as
    16  a mental health professional pursuant to law, rule or regulation.
    17    b.  "Sexual  orientation  change  efforts" (i) means any practice by a
    18  mental health professional that seeks to change an  individual's  sexual
    19  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    20  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    21  or  romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex
    22  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    23  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    24  ance, support and understanding  of  patients  or  the  facilitation  of
    25  patients'  coping,  social support and identity exploration and develop-
    26  ment, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to  prevent  or
    27  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    28  to change sexual orientation.
    29    2.  It  shall  be  professional misconduct for a mental health profes-
    30  sional to engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon  any  patient
    31  under  the  age  of  eighteen  years, and any mental health professional
    32  found guilty of such  misconduct  under  the  procedures  prescribed  in
    33  section  sixty-five  hundred  ten of this subarticle shall be subject to
    34  the penalties prescribed in section sixty-five hundred  eleven  of  this
    35  subarticle.
    36    §  3.  The  education law is amended by adding a new section 6531-a to
    37  read as follows:
    38    § 6531-a. Additional definition  of  professional  misconduct;  mental
    39  health professionals. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
    40    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    41  provisions of article one hundred thirty-one of this title.
    42    b. "Sexual orientation change efforts" (i) means  any  practice  by  a
    43  mental  health  professional that seeks to change an individual's sexual
    44  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    45  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    46  or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex;
    47  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    48  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    49  ance, support and understanding  of  patients  or  the  facilitation  of
    50  patients'  coping, social support, and identity exploration and develop-
    51  ment, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to  prevent  or
    52  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    53  to change sexual orientation.
    54    2.  It  shall  be  professional misconduct for a mental health profes-
    55  sional to engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon  any  patient
    56  under  the  age  of  eighteen  years, and any mental health professional

        A. 3977                             5
 
     1  found guilty of such misconduct under the procedures prescribed in title
     2  two-A of article two of the public health law shall be  subject  to  the
     3  penalties  prescribed  in  section  two  hundred  thirty-a of the public
     4  health  law, as added by chapter six hundred six of the laws of nineteen
     5  hundred ninety-one.
     6    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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