Bill Text: NY S01046 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 39-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-15 - SUBSTITUTED BY A576 [S01046 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S01046-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          1046
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 10, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by Sens. HOYLMAN, GIANARIS, ADDABBO, BAILEY, BENJAMIN, BIAG-
          GI, BRESLIN, BROOKS, CARLUCCI, COMRIE, GAUGHRAN, GOUNARDES,  HARCKHAM,
          JACKSON,  KAMINSKY, KAPLAN, KAVANAGH, KENNEDY, KRUEGER, LIU, MARTINEZ,
          MAY,  MAYER,  METZGER,  MONTGOMERY,  MYRIE,  PARKER,  PERSAUD,  RAMOS,
          RIVERA,  SALAZAR, SANDERS, SAVINO, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO, SKOUFIS, STAVI-
          SKY, STEWART-COUSINS, THOMAS -- read twice and  ordered  printed,  and
          when printed to be committed 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
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05039-01-9

        S. 1046                             2
     1  sexual and emotional  intimacy,  sexual  dysfunction,  high-risk  sexual
     2  behaviors,  a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of
     3  faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
     4    c.  The  American  Psychological  Association  issued  a resolution on
     5  Appropriate Affirmative Responses to  Sexual  Orientation  Distress  and
     6  Change Efforts in 2009, which states: The American Psychological Associ-
     7  ation  advises  parents,  guardians, young people, and their families to
     8  avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as  a
     9  mental  illness  or  developmental  disorder  and to seek psychotherapy,
    10  social supports, and educational services that provide accurate informa-
    11  tion on sexual orientation and sexuality,  increase  family  and  school
    12  support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.
    13    d. The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement
    14  in  March  of  2000 in which it stated: "Psychotherapeutic modalities to
    15  convert or 'repair' homosexuality are based  on  developmental  theories
    16  whose   scientific  validity  is  questionable.  Furthermore,  anecdotal
    17  reports of 'cures' are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psycholog-
    18  ical harm. In the last four decades, 'reparative'  therapists  have  not
    19  produced  any  rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims
    20  of cure. Until there is such research available, the American  Psychiat-
    21  ric  Association  recommends  that  ethical  practitioners  refrain from
    22  attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation, keeping in mind  the
    23  medical  dictum to first, do no harm.  The potential risks of reparative
    24  therapy are great, including depression,  anxiety  and  self-destructive
    25  behavior,  since  therapist  alignment  with societal prejudices against
    26  homosexuality may  reinforce  self-hatred  already  experienced  by  the
    27  patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that
    28  they  were  inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy indi-
    29  viduals who never achieve acceptance or  satisfaction.  The  possibility
    30  that  the  person  might  achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal
    31  relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alterna-
    32  tive approaches to dealing with the effects of  societal  stigmatization
    33  discussed.   Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any
    34  psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which  is
    35  based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder
    36  or  based  upon  the  a  priori  assumption that a patient should change
    37  his/her sexual orientation."
    38    e. The American School Counselor Association's position  statement  on
    39  professional  school  counselors  and  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgen-
    40  dered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth states: It is not the role  of  the
    41  professional  school  counselor  to attempt to change a student's sexual
    42  orientation/gender identity but instead  to  provide  support  to  LGBTQ
    43  students  to promote student achievement and personal well-being. Recog-
    44  nizing that sexual orientation is not an illness and  does  not  require
    45  treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student
    46  planning or responsive services to LGBTQ students to promote self-accep-
    47  tance,  deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to coming
    48  out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through
    49  this process and identify appropriate community resources.
    50    f. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1993 published an article  in
    51  its  journal,  Pediatrics,  stating:  Therapy  directed  at specifically
    52  changing sexual orientation is contraindicated,  since  it  can  provoke
    53  guilt  and  anxiety  while  having  little or no potential for achieving
    54  changes in orientation.
    55    g. The American Medical  Association  Council  on  Scientific  Affairs
    56  prepared a report in 1994 in which it stated: Aversion therapy (a behav-

        S. 1046                             3
     1  ioral  or  medical  intervention which pairs unwanted behavior , in this
     2  case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive conse-
     3  quences) is no longer recommended for  gay  men  and  lesbians.  Through
     4  psychotherapy,  gay  men  and lesbians can become comfortable with their
     5  sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.
     6    h. The National Association of Social Workers prepared a  1997  policy
     7  statement  in which it stated: Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay and
     8  bisexual people is widespread and is  a  primary  motivating  factor  in
     9  leading  some  people  to seek sexual orientation changes. Sexual orien-
    10  tation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation  is  both
    11  pathological  and freely chosen. No data demonstrates that reparative or
    12  conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful.
    13    i. The American Counseling  Association  Governing  Council  issued  a
    14  position  statement  in  April of 1999, and in it the council states: We
    15  oppose 'the promotion of 'reparative therapy' as a 'cure'  for  individ-
    16  uals who are homosexual.
    17    j. The American Psychoanalytic Association issued a position statement
    18  in June 2012 on attempts to change sexual orientation, gender, identity,
    19  or  gender  expression,  and  in  it the association states: As with any
    20  societal  prejudice,  bias  against  individuals  based  on  actual   or
    21  perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression nega-
    22  tively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stig-
    23  ma  and  pervasive  self-criticism  through  the internalization of such
    24  prejudice.   Psychoanalytic  technique  does  not  encompass  purposeful
    25  attempts  to 'convert,' 'repair,' change or shift an individual's sexual
    26  orientation, gender  identity  or  gender  expression.    Such  directed
    27  efforts  are  against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment
    28  and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damag-
    29  ing internalized attitudes.
    30    k. The American Academy of Child and  Adolescent  Psychiatry  in  2012
    31  published  an article in its journal, Journal of the American Academy of
    32  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stating:  Clinicians  should  be  aware
    33  that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through
    34  therapy,  and  that attempts to do so may be harmful. There is no empir-
    35  ical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconform-
    36  ing children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed,  there
    37  is  not  medically  valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality,
    38  which is not an illness. On the contrary,  such  efforts  may  encourage
    39  family  rejection  and  undermine self-esteem, connectedness and caring,
    40  important protective factors against  suicidal  ideation  and  attempts.
    41  Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation
    42  are effect, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry
    43  the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.
    44    l.  The  Pan  American  Health  Organization, a regional office of the
    45  World Health Organization, issued a statement in May of 2012 and  in  it
    46  the  organization states: These supposed conversion therapies constitute
    47  a violation of the ethical principles of health care and  violate  human
    48  rights  that  are  protected  by  international regional agreements. The
    49  organization also noted that reparative therapies  lack  medical  justi-
    50  fication  and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of
    51  affected people.
    52    m. Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orien-
    53  tation face especially serious health risks. In one study, lesbian, gay,
    54  and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection
    55  during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted
    56  suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression,  3.4

        S. 1046                             4
     1  times  more  likely  to  use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to
     2  report having engaged in unprotected sexual  intercourse  compared  with
     3  peers  from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.
     4  This  is  documented  by  Caitlin  Ryan et al. in their article entitled
     5  Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and
     6  Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young  Adults  (2009)  123  Pediatrics
     7  346.
     8    n.  New  York has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and
     9  psychological well-being of minors, including  lesbian,  gay,  bisexual,
    10  and  transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to
    11  serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.
    12    § 2. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  6509-e  to
    13  read as follows:
    14    §  6509-e.  Additional  definition  of professional misconduct; mental
    15  health professionals. 1. For the purposes of this section:
    16    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    17  provisions of article one hundred fifty-three, one hundred fifty-four or
    18  one hundred sixty-three of this title; or any other person designated as
    19  a mental health professional pursuant to law, rule or regulation.
    20    b.  "Sexual  orientation  change  efforts" (i) means any practice by a
    21  mental health professional that seeks to change an  individual's  sexual
    22  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    23  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    24  or  romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex
    25  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    26  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    27  ance, support and understanding  of  patients  or  the  facilitation  of
    28  patients'  coping,  social support and identity exploration and develop-
    29  ment, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to  prevent  or
    30  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    31  to change sexual orientation.
    32    2.  It  shall  be  professional misconduct for a mental health profes-
    33  sional to engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon  any  patient
    34  under  the  age  of  eighteen  years, and any mental health professional
    35  found guilty of such  misconduct  under  the  procedures  prescribed  in
    36  section  sixty-five  hundred  ten of this subarticle shall be subject to
    37  the penalties prescribed in section sixty-five hundred  eleven  of  this
    38  subarticle.
    39    §  3.  The  education law is amended by adding a new section 6531-a to
    40  read as follows:
    41    § 6531-a. Additional definition  of  professional  misconduct;  mental
    42  health professionals. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
    43    a.  "Mental  health  professional"  means  a  person  subject  to  the
    44  provisions of article one hundred thirty-one of this title.
    45    b. "Sexual orientation change efforts" (i) means  any  practice  by  a
    46  mental  health  professional that seeks to change an individual's sexual
    47  orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors,
    48  gender identity, or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual
    49  or romantic attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same sex;
    50  and (ii) shall not include counseling for a person seeking to transition
    51  from one gender to another, or psychotherapies that: (A) provide accept-
    52  ance, support and understanding  of  patients  or  the  facilitation  of
    53  patients'  coping, social support, and identity exploration and develop-
    54  ment, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to  prevent  or
    55  address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek
    56  to change sexual orientation.

        S. 1046                             5
     1    2.  It  shall  be  professional misconduct for a mental health profes-
     2  sional to engage in sexual orientation change efforts upon  any  patient
     3  under  the  age  of  eighteen  years, and any mental health professional
     4  found guilty of such misconduct under the procedures prescribed in title
     5  two-A  of  article  two of the public health law shall be subject to the
     6  penalties prescribed in section  two  hundred  thirty-a  of  the  public
     7  health  law, as added by chapter six hundred six of the laws of nineteen
     8  hundred ninety-one.
     9    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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