A lawmaker in upstate New York has introduced a bill banning conversion therapy, and he’s named it after Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who supports the discredited practice.
Patrick Burke, a legislator in Buffalo, has authored the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment, or PENCE, Act. The measure would prohibit therapists from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation through treatment or counseling.
“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 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.”
Pence has advocated redirecting money from HIV/AIDS care toward conversion therapists and “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”