The New York city council is planning to repeal a two-year-old ban on “gay conversion therapy” to avoid a costly uphill legal fight.
The New York Times reports that the city’s openly gay Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced a bill on Thursday to repeal a measure passed in 2017 banning the sale of “services intended to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
With a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court makeup, Johnson doesn’t seem to want the law to be tested in the legal system. He vowed that the council would act quickly to repeal the law.
“Obviously I didn’t want to repeal this,” Johnson was quoted as saying. “I don’t want to be someone who is giving in to these right-wing groups. But the Supreme Court has become conservative; the Second Circuit, which oversees New York, has become more conservative.”
The city’s ban is being challenged by the conservative religious freedom legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has won nine Supreme Court cases in the last seven years.
ADF’s lawsuit was filed in January on behalf of Dr. David Schwartz, a licensed psychotherapist and an adherent to the Lubavitcher Orthodox Jewish Community in Brooklyn.
Supporters of sexual orientation change efforts contend that laws banning conversion therapy will make it harder for individuals struggling with same-sex attraction to seek help if they desire to live their life in accordance with a biblical lifestyle.
They also say that conversion therapy bans essentially censor discussions between psychologists and their patients.
Some LGBT advocates fear that if the measure is challenged in court and struck down, it could damage nationwide attempts to ban efforts to change sexual orientation.
The news of the city council’s desire to repeal the ban was praised by both LGBT advocates and Christian conservatives, although for different reasons.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith