NY Assembly votes to ban gay conversion therapy
The state Assembly has voted to ban so-called gay conversion therapy, which claims to "cure" homosexuality.
A 2009 study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that "attempts to change sexual orientation may cause or exacerbate distress and poor mental health in some individuals, including depression and suicidal thoughts."
Matthew Shurka, of Great Neck, says efforts to convert him to a heterosexual left him emotionally scarred.
"At the age of 16, my father put me into something called conversion therapy...My whole experience was five years in four different states by four different therapists," said Shurka.
Shurka described the usage of pornography, masturbation techniques and Viagra pills as ways to "cure" him.
"I was doing all of this so I could get the acceptance of my parents, my community - just so I could be accepted in society," he said.
Currently, Shurka works to protect teens from the so-called therapy.
Other states like New Jersey and California already have laws banning gay conversion therapy and 18 others have introduced similar legislation.
President Barack Obama is also a supporter of efforts to ban the practice as a way of protecting young people.
News 12 reached out to state Sen. Dean Skelos in an effort to find out if it would be voted on this year. He has not yet responded.