(EDGE) Gay conversion therapy bans: They're not just for kids anymore.
Last week, the New York City Council passed the most sweeping bill banning the practice of therapy that aims to turn gay people straight. And unlike bans in other cities and states, which only forbid the practice on minors, the Big Apple's ban extends to adults as well.
The bill, which is sponsored by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, passed in a 43 to 2 vote with one abstention. According to Metro, therapists who violate the ban face a $1,000 fine for the first offense and a $5,000 penalty for the second. Repeat offenders will pay $10,000 for every offense after that. It is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill deBlasio.
"Our great country is land of the free meaning ALL individuals should be able to live without fear of coercion into change into someone they are not," Mark-Viverito said in a statement. "Conversion therapy is barbaric and inhumane, and right here in New York City, we will continue to be the model for acceptance across the nation as we ban conversion therapy once and for all."
The New York Daily News notes the bill proposes some of the heftiest fines for licensed practitioners. However, those who perform gay conversion therapy for free, like clergy members, will not be affected.
While New York City has passed the ban, there remains no such law in place for the State of New York, which only bars public and private healthcare insurers from covering the practice.