New York City Is Reversing an LGBT Counseling Gag Rule. That’s a Win for Everyone.

The Daily Signal | 9/17/2019 | Staff
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Cathy Ruse is a senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council.

The LGBT movement has asked for the repeal of its favorite new law in New York City. In a public statement on Thursday, the speaker of the City Council agreed.

Speech - Matters - Elections - Consequences

Why? Because free speech matters. And elections have consequences.

In 2017, the City Council passed a law that punishes counselors who engage in LGBT-related speech from a certain viewpoint—the viewpoint of a patient seeking to overcome unwanted transgender feelings or same-sex attraction.

Services - Person - Orientation - Identity - Language

It bans “any services” that “seek to change a person’s sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” The language is so broad that it covers even patient-led, private conversations between a counselor and a patient.

LGBT activists have persuaded 18 states and the District of Columbia to pass similar laws, sometimes called “conversion therapy” bans.

New - York - City - Hearings - Feature

In New York City and elsewhere, legislative hearings feature activists who describe nightmarish scenarios of cruel methods used on “gay” people to make them “straight.” They never provide any hard evidence of these practices because they don’t have any.

But it doesn’t matter. They get what they want. Sweeping bans that outlaw not only cruel methods, but all methods—including private conversations between counselor and patient.

New - York - City - Censorship - Law

New York City passed its counseling censorship law in December 2017 by a vote of 43-2.

Then, an elderly counselor challenged the “capital of the world.” And the city just blinked.

Dr - Dovid - Schwartz - Psychotherapist - New

Dr. Dovid Schwartz is an Orthodox Jewish psychotherapist who has practiced in New York City for over 50 years. He uses no techniques in working with his patients other than listening and talking.

When the City Council passed its law, suddenly Schwartz faced heavy fines for expressing opinions that did not align with the viewpoint of the council: up to $10,000 per violation. Calculated by the hour? By the word? We may never know.

He found a...
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