Sexual orientation conversion therapy victims speak out at hearing for banning the practice on minors
New York is considering banning so called reparative or conversion therapy for minors in the state. Mathew Shurka, sent to orientation conversion therapy after coming out as gay to his Dad at age 16, recounted the depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts he experienced after his long string of so-called therapy sessions with several licensed mental health professionals.
Shurka was one of several victims of conversion therapy who spoke at the hearing convened by state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who is pushing to ban the practice on anyone under 18. California and New Jersey have already instituted such a ban.
If his legislation is enacted, mental health providers who perform the conversion therapy would be cited for unprofessional conduct and subject to licensing sanctions.
“This is an issue of abuse of kids as well as consumer fraud, where therapists are misleading parents into believing that they can ‘cure’ their kids,” said Hoylman, who is openly gay.