New York City Council Considers Repeal of Conversion Therapy Ban

The New York City Council is considering a repeal of its 2017 law banning conversion therapy, the strongly-condemned practice of attempting to change a person's sexual orientation or gender, NPR reports. The move comes in response to a lawsuit brought against the city by Alliance Defending Freedom, a national group that regularly challenges abortion laws and LGBT protections on freedom of speech and religious grounds. LGBT advocacy groups and council members that support repealing the ban argue the change will not result in any erosion of protections for LGBT New Yorkers and will halt the lawsuit. Those supporting the reversal say that defending against the suit would be a waste of the city’s time and resources and could have national impacts if the courts side against the city. The proposal to repeal the ban was introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay. Johnson said regarding the repeal: "I really struggled with it because I don't want to look like we're retreating in the face of an organization that brought this lawsuit that has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center … Ultimately, I think this is the responsible, strategic and right thing to do."

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