Gay City News reports:
The New York City Council is repealing its ban on so-called conversion therapy in response to LGBTQ advocates who voiced their satisfaction with the state’s version of the measure and acknowledged that legal challenges could derail the city law anyway.
Out gay Speaker Corey Johnson [photo] confirmed to Gay City News that the city’s lawmaking body, after “intense deliberation,” is planning to ditch the 2017 law that broadly bans New Yorkers from paying for the debunked practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“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,” said Johnson, who noted that queer youth are protected by the state law.
In January of this year, Alliance Defending Freedom — an Arizona-based Christian organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s statute and arguing that it was overly broad. That same month, Albany passed a law banning conversion therapy for minors that covered the whole state.
LGBTQ advocates worried ADF’s suit could potentially spark a ruling from precedent-setting courts that might threaten the city’s law and have broader implications, according to Johnson, and asked him to repeal the ban and instead rely on the state’s law.
“It is a smart move,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “It is not taking any protections away.” Adults, he said, can bring lawsuits under a consumer fraud protection act.