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New York State Bans Medical Coverage for Gay Conversion Therapy

Posted:
By Faith Jessie.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced executive actions banning medical coverage for Conversion Therapy on Saturday.

The therapy is a practice used on lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender people in an attempt to change the individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

The New York State Department of Financial services is issuing regulations that prevent New York insurers from providing coverage for conversion therapy given to an individual under 18.

Coverage will not be available under New York's medicaid program, and the New York State Office of Mental Health will issue regulations to prohibit clinics from using the therapy on minors.

Cuomo's office says this conversion therapy has been deemed harmful to patients by many leading medical and mental health professionals.

"The therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything the state stands for," said Cuomo.

One man in Virginia that has gone through the therapy says that he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with being gay. He said that the therapy helps people, like him who feel homosexuality doesn't fit with who they are, their faith, or their life goals. He also says it saved his life.

"For me, It was very positive it was a life changing experience because I was suicidal before hand when I thought that I had no choice. I would never enforce forcing or pushing any kind of therapy for sexual attraction on anyone for any reason. But for those people who do want this kind of therapy, for those that feel disconnected or in conflict with their homosexuality or their bisexuality, this could be a life saving therapy," said Rich Wyler, Founder and Executive Director of People Can Change.

According to Governor Cuomo's office, the conversion therapy has been rejected by a variety of organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Counseling Association and the American Psychiatric Association.