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.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."