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New York Passes Bills Aimed at Protecting LGBTQ Rights

HeadlineJan 16, 2019

And New York state lawmakers have approved a pair of bills aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community. One bill bans licensed mental health professionals from participating in so-called conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice that seeks to coerce queer youth into renouncing their sexuality. A second bill expands hate crimes to include attacks motivated by gender identity or expression. David Kilmnick, president of the LGBT Network, said, “Banning the harmful 'practice' of conversion therapy will save lives. New York has sent an important message to the rest of the nation today that no matter who sits in the White House, progress and the fight for equality and justice will move forward.” But some trans advocates are objecting to New York’s expansion of the definition of hate crimes. Chase Strangio of the ACLU argues that hate crimes laws disproportionately target communities of color—and could even be used to enhance sentences for trans and queer people convicted of what the FBI calls “anti-heterosexual” hate crimes.

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