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City Council To Weigh Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy For Minors And Adults

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City Council is looking to ban therapists from trying to turn gay kids straight.

As WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported, the bill takes New York City farther than the handful of states that have banned conversion therapy, or reparative therapy, for minors. It would be illegal in New York City to try to turn adults straight too.

"Quackery is quackery," said City Council sponsor Daniel Dromm (D-25th). "So this is an attempt to ban it when there will be a fee involved in it."

As part of Matthew Shurka' so-called therapy, he wasn't allowed to talk to his mother for three years.

"Most people who meet me and say I was treated by the 6 Train in Union Square, they're shocked it happens here," Shurka said.

He said the therapist he went to is still in business.

"So right in the heart of New York City, conversion therapy is still being practiced," Shurka said.

Most leading medical groups say conversion therapy amounts to abuse. Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned insurance coverage for it by executive order.

Conversion therapy is banned for minors in seven states – among them New Jersey and Connecticut. Bans are also in effect in California, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.

Bills to ban conversion therapy altogether in New York state have died in the state Senate.

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