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The Catholic Church is staying out of the fight to ban gay conversion therapy in New York State

The Catholic Church is staying out of the fight to ban gay conversion therapy in New York State

Catholic leaders in New York State have opted to stay out of the fight to ban so-called gay reparative therapies and have signaled they will take no side in the debate.

A spokesperson for the New York State Catholic Conference of Bishops issued a statement to the group Catholic Citizens of Illinois earlier this week signalling the church’s neutrality.

‘In the past, bills have been introduced in the state legislature that would have banned insurance coverage for these therapies for minors,’ the statement reads.

‘The Catholic Conference has not taken a position on these bills, and we do not foresee taking a position on the Governor’s executive action in this regard either.’

Catholics are the largest religious denomination in New York State, making up 7.3 million of the state’s 19.75 million inhabitants.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is leading the charge to ban reparative therapies in the state, himself identifies as Catholic despite his support for same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose.

Cuomo has called attempts to ‘cure’ people of their inborn sexual orientation ‘a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for.’

‘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,’ Cuomo said earlier this week.

‘We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are.’

New York State’s Department of Financial Services is issuing regulations barring New York insurers from providing health care coverage for conversion therapy attempted on any person under 18.

The state Department of Health also is prohibiting health care coverage for conversion therapy under New York’s Medicaid program and the state’s Office of Mental Health is issuing regulations prohibiting facilities under its control from providing conversion therapy treatment to minors.

Religiously motivated attempts to cure people of their sexuality are more common among Protestant strands of Christianity as the Catholic Catechism accepts that people have an inborn sexuality while calling on homosexuals to remain chaste and not act on their feelings.