Designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.
TITLE OF BILL: 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
PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit a mental health professional, as defined, from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, with a patient under 18 years of age. The bill would provide that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health professional shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider's licensing entity.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill adds a new Section 6.509-d to the Education Law regulating professional misconduct.
Section 1 defines certain terms and provides that the license, registration or certificate of a mental health professional shall be revoked, suspended or annulled, or such professional shall be subject to discipline by the provider's licensing entity, if such mental health professional engages in sexual orientation change efforts upon any patient under the age of eighteen years old.
Section 2 establishes the effective date of this law as the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
The American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in 2009 which concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people ranging from confusion and depression, to substance abuse and suicide. In response to these findings, the Association issued a resolution, which stated that portraying homosexuality as a mental illness should instead give way to psychotherapy, social support, and educational services.
The American School Counselor Associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association Governing Council, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization have all concluded that the risks of reparative therapy are too great. These dangerous treatments that attempt to address depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior may only serve to reinforce self-hatred.
While much has been published on this topic, an article by Caitlin Ryan et al. entitled "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health
Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults" states well in its conclusion that minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation face especially serious health risks. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.
In these harmful procedures, the possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.
New York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: The first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4869 A. 6983 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 29, 2013 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. GIANARIS, HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. GLICK, TITONE, JAFFEE, O'DONNELL, BARRETT, ROBERTS, ROSA, SKOUFIS, ZEBROWSKI, SCHIMEL -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ARROYO, COOK, LAVINE, MILLMAN, SEPULVEDA, 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 THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 6509-d to read as follows: S 6509-D. ADDITIONAL DEFINITION OF PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT; MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. 1. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: A. "MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL" MEANS A PERSON SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE IF HE OR SHE SPECIALIZES IN THE PRACTICE OF PSYCHIATRY, OR ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE, ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR OR ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THIS TITLE; OR ANY OTHER PERSON DESIGNATED AS A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL PURSUANT TO LAW, RULE OR REGULATION. B. "SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS" (I) MEANS ANY PRACTICE BY A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL THAT SEEKS TO CHANGE AN INDIVIDUAL'S SEXUAL ORIENTATION; AND (II) SHALL NOT INCLUDE PSYCHOTHERAPIES THAT: (A) PROVIDE ACCEPTANCE, SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING OF PATIENTS OR THE FACILI- TATION OF PATIENTS' COPING AND SOCIAL SUPPORT, INCLUDING SEXUAL ORIENTA- TION-NEUTRAL INTERVENTIONS TO PREVENT OR ADDRESS UNLAWFUL CONDUCT OR UNSAFE SEXUAL PRACTICES; AND (B) DO NOT SEEK TO CHANGE SEXUAL ORIEN- TATION.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09824-02-3 S. 4869 2 A. 6983
2. PROHIBITION. THE LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR CERTIFICATE, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE, OF A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SHALL BE REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR ANNULLED, OR SUCH PROFESSIONAL MAY BE SUBJECT TO ANY OTHER PENALTY PROVIDED IN SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED ELEVEN OF THIS SUBARTICLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AND PROCEDURES OF THIS ARTICLE, IF SUCH MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ENGAGES IN SEXUAL ORIEN- TATION CHANGE EFFORTS UPON ANY PATIENT UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.