Cuomo moves to stop 'gay conversion' therapy in NY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced new executive actions banning the coverage of so-called “gay conversion” therapy.

The new regulations ban public and private health care insurers from covering so-called

The new regulations ban public and private health care insurers from covering so-called "gay conversion" therapy in New York state. (2/8/16)

WOODBURY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced new executive actions banning the coverage of so-called “gay conversion” therapy.

The new regulations ban public and private health care insurers from covering the practice in New York state, and also prohibit various mental health facilities from conducting the practice on minors.

"Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for," Cuomo said. "New York has been at the forefront of acceptance and equality for the LGBT community for decades, and today we are continuing that legacy and leading by example."

Great Neck native and gay rights advocate Mathew Shurka spoke to News 12 last year about the turmoil he went through as a teenager after coming out to his father that he was gay. Shurka says the goal of the therapy was to make him heterosexual, and included everything from watching pornography to taking medication like Viagra.

New Jersey, California, Illinois and other states have already banned conversion therapy, but similar efforts to ban it have failed in other states, including Colorado.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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