Almost two years ago, the New York City Council passed a ban on conversion therapy to protect both minors and adults from the dangerous practice. But this week, the Council speaker, Corey Johnson, announced that the ban is being repealed.
Johnson explained that the Council has decided to repeal the law to avoid a Supreme Court case. Conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, claiming that it violates the free speech rights of counselors.
Johnson, who is gay, called the decision to repeal “painful” and said that it was not done lightly.
“After intense deliberation, the Council concluded that it was best to take this drastic step,” he said in a statement. “The courts have changed considerably over the last few years, and we cannot count on them to rule in favor of much-needed protections for the LGBTQ community.”
Johnson went on to call the “alleged therapy…barbaric and inhumane,” before adding that “repealing this law seemed to be the best path forward.”
If the ban is successfully repealed, New York City will still be covered by the state’s conversion therapy ban, which applies only to minors. New York is among 18 states that have banned the practice for minors. It passed the ban in January of this year.