Thursday, September 12, 2019

New York City poised to repeal conversion therapy ban

Corey D. Johnson is the Speaker of the NYC City Council. He is openly gay and an odd sponsor of a measure to repeal the City's ban on conversion therapy.
via City of New York
New York City seems an unlikely locale for undoing a conversion therapy ban. The Speaker of the City Council, Corey Johnson, is gay as are a number of Council members and there is a robust LGBTQ affairs caucus. Speaker Johnson is actually the author of the repeal. I only learned of Wednesday evening when attorneys for the City of New York notified the judge presiding over Schwartz v. City of New York.

David Schwartz, is an ultra-orthodox Hassidic Jew with half-assed academic credentials. With representation by the hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom, Schwartz is suing the City on the basis that the ban violates his religious freedom. The legislation seems to be a direct response to the litigation. The text is dated Monday, September 9. There has been no period of time for public comment and the hearing is today, Thursday.

This is particularly infuriating give that Wednesday researchers at Harvard concluded that any exposure to conversion therapy related to gender causes a lifetime of misery. Late last night I emailed the LGBTQ caucus members and the Speaker of the Council and attached a summary of the research published to The Journal of the American Medical Association which had been provided to me by the lead investigator, Jack Turban.

I received a response from Johnson's office:
Dear Mr. Hart:

Thank you for your message below to Speaker Johnson.

Our office is responsible for processing the mail that the Speaker receives as the head of the New York City Council.

We’ll be sure to share copies of your email with the appropriate people here at the City Council, including those who worked on Local Law 22.

Thanks again for notifying the Council about this new research out of Havard [SIC].
I am not hopeful. There hasn't been enough time to make phone calls and, obviously, I am no longer a resident of NYC.

The meeting begins at 1:30 PM but the measure is very deep in the agenda. I have been unable to load the live stream.


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