A New York Legislator Is Sticking It To Mike Pence With Proposed Law Banning Conversion Therapy

by Kelly Walters

A legislator in Erie County New York has introduced legislation that would ban conversion therapy locally. The proposed law is great news for LGBT people in the community, but the icing on the cake is that it’s named after Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a supporter of conversion therapy.

Progressive AND petty, exactly how I like my elected officials.

Patrick Burke has been fighting for a ban on this aggressive “therapy” for two years, and on Monday introduced new legislation with the title Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment, or, P.E.N.C.E.

“Mike Pence is probably going to have the most power of any vice president in the history of our country and he has openly advocated for conversion therapy,” Burke said in an interview with WBFO. “I want that to sink into people. I want them to realize it’s a serious issue of abuse of children flatly, whether they are gay or not, it’s abuse, then you have a man who is going to have enormous power over all of us, who advocates for it.”

Conversion therapy is utilized under the assumption that homosexuality is some type of mental disorder (or that it’s a choice that can be taken back), and uses psychological treatment to “make” a patient heterosexual. It’s been deemed harmful by all kinds of medical professionals including the American Psychological Association and Dr. David Satcher, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States.

But our next vice president still wants to give it a shot.

“This practice has no business in our society and really the idea of trying to sexually desensitize children is disgusting and distributing,” Burke said.

After years of trying to make conversion therapy illegal, Burke is making a statement by naming his newest proposal after the vice president-elect. This time it’s personal, and legislators like Burke won’t allow dangerous extremists like Pence to dictate the safety and wellbeing of the LGBT community without a fight.

Image via Flickr

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