New York governor Andrew Cuomo was set on Saturday to announce a ban on public and private health insurers paying for “ conversion therapy ” – designed to alter sexual orientation or gender identity – and prohibiting state mental health facilities from conducting the controversial practice on minors.
The executive action, which the governor was to announce on receiving a National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday night, will make it illegal for any organization licensed or funded by the state to offer such “therapy”.
New York has long been at the forefront of gay rights movement, Cuomo said in a statement. He called conversion therapy a “hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for”.
Conversion therapies have long been opposed by the American Psychiatric Association; a recent federal report concluded they were “inappropriate and reinforce harmful gender stereotypes”.
Measures to prevent licensed professionals from using conversion therapy on minors are already in place in California, New Jersey and Washington DC. States including Oregon and Illinois have introduced similar legislation.
The announcement of the executive action – taken after a bill to outlaw the practice last year stalled in the Republican-controlled state senate – was not universally approved.
Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the New York Daily News : “We have supported, and continue to support, the rights of people who have unwanted same sex attractions to seek the counselling they desire.”
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said he welcomed Cuomo’s decision.
“No young person should be coerced or subjected to this dangerous so-called therapy, which has been linked to youth substance abuse, depression, homelessness, and even suicide,” he said.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016
Trump-loving “hate group” leader struggles to defend chauvinism during CNN interview on Portland chaos
Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
Tarrio had traveled from Miami to take part in the far-right rally in Portland and appeared to be wearing body armor.
‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart
On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.
After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you, you f**king n****r."
Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"
"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"
‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling
Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.
One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).
"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."
"None," Davis replied.
"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.