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Albany councilman to introduce bill banning conversion therapy
ALBANY -- A bill is expected to be introduced Monday that would call for a ban of conversion therapy by unlicensed practitioners for the citys youth.
Newly elected councilman Judd Krasher said several members of the LGBT community contacted him about the issue.
The evidence is irrefutable conversion therapy is tantamount to child abuse and those who say conversion therapy works are not looking at the science data and when you're making public policy thats what you have to look at, said Krasher.
He also has experience with conversion therapy after coming out to his own family at the age of 18.
It was really rough. Thank goodness I had a very supportive family however there were members of my community who weren't so accepting of it and there were individuals who offered these conversion therapy practices, said Krasher. I came out of it feeling worse than I did going into it this greater sense of guilt and self-doubt so I can't imagine what these folks who go through the actual process through the end have to go through. Its quite barbaric this practice.
Krashers bill would only target unlicensed therapists since licensed practices are regulated by the state. The state legislature is considering a bill that aims to ban conversion therapy among licensed therapists. Opponents of the ban say it is stalled because legislators recognize traditional therapy as effective.
We're opposed to any kinds of those treatments [using electric shock]. We're not dealing with that. We're really talking about people who sit down and talk their attractions and want to have change in their lives they learn what's brought them to that point and it's a dialogue between a patient and doctor, said Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers Family Research Foundation. Our organization takes the position that change is indeed possible as the testaments of thousands that have changed, that had same sex attraction and are now in happy marriages today.
McGuire believes politics may be behind the push in Albany as a way to spur the discussion again at the state level.
When you can't move something in the state legislature because the majority of people really do reject the measure you look for the low hanging fruit, said McGuire. I think that's what the city of Albany is seeking to do with this measure.