The US state of New York voted to approve a ban on LGBTI conversion therapy on Tuesday (15 January).
Legislators from both the Democrat-led State Senate and Assembly passed the new ban. They also successfully added gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination laws, entitled the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA).
The conversion therapy ban passed with 54 votes to seven in the Senate and 123 to three in the Assembly.
Similar laws are also in effect in 14 other US states.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign both bills into law, in the coming days.
Both matters had repeatedly passed the long-held Democratic majority of the State Assembly, but stalled at the Republican majority Senate.
‘So-called conversion therapy is child abuse, plain and simple,’ said Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan.
On the new gender identity and expression laws, Hoylman then added: ‘After a protracted 16-year battle, the Democratic majority will finally be able to shield transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers from discrimination and hate.’
New York strides towards equality
The state of New York just passed a law that requires baby changing tables in men’s toilets. It came into effect on New Year’s Day.
In September in last year, New York also began offering a third gender option on birth certificates.
The New York City Council and Board of Health voted to include a category X on these forms of ID. The change will begin starting 1 January 2019.
The new legislation also makes it so people don’t need a doctor’s or health care provider’s note to change their gender marker.
New York City joins previously locations in offering the third option, such as California and Oregon.