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NY legislator names bill to ban gay conversion therapy after Mike Pence

NY legislator names bill to ban gay conversion therapy after Mike Pence
Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)Photo: AP

New York legislator Patrick Burke is trolling notoriously the anti-LGBT vice president-elect in the best possible way. He has introduced legislation to ban conversion therapy in the state and dubbed it the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short.

The Republican, a darling of the religious right, gained a reputation as one of America’s most vociferously anti-LGBT politicians as a Congressman. As the governor of Indiana, Pence signed a law that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers and rolled back all local non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

“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 told Buffalo’s NPR affiliate, 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.”

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

On Pence’s 2000 congressional campaign website, he said the Ryan White Act should be defunded because it “celebrate[s] and encourage[s] the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” Instead, Pence wanted the funds directed to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

The Ryan White Act is used to distribute funds to organizations fighting HIV/AIDS and provides life-saving resources to HIV+ people.

The Republican party platform, deemed the most homophobic in history, specifically endorses the practice – even though it has been condemned by all major psychiatric and children’s health organizations.

“We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children,” it reads.

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