1. As an evangelical Christian organization, New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms adheres to Biblical teachings on sexuality. We believe that sexual expression should only occur within the marital relationship between husband and wife. Any sex act occurring outside of that context is immoral. Married men and women are called upon by God to remain faithful to their respective spouses, and persons who are not yet married are called to be chaste.
2. Persons with same-sex (homosexual) attraction are, like all persons, made in God’s image, and should be treated with dignity and respect. Christians have not consistently treated persons with same-sex attraction the way that we would wish to be treated. Over the years, our failures in this regard have caused pain to our neighbors who are attracted to members of the same sex. The Bible calls Christians to love our neighbors, even when we disagree with them about important issues. New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms condemns criminal activity, bullying, and hateful rhetoric directed at any person for any reason, including sexual orientation or gender identity. There is nothing Christian about mistreating a person due to their same-sex attraction. Just as approval of homosexual behavior is at odds with Christianity, hatred for persons who are attracted to members of the same sex—or who engage in same-sex behavior—is at odds with Christianity.
3. While the causes of same-sex attraction are complex and disputed, this much is clear: Same-sex attraction is not genetic, and change is possible. For the vast majority of people, sexual orientation is not chosen; sexual behavior, however, is chosen. Many individuals experience sexual orientation change, whether or not they seek it. While NYCF does not endorse any particular approach to assisting persons who wish to resolve unwanted same-sex attraction, change therapy has been helpful for some individuals.
4. Regarding change therapy for minors, NYCF supports client autonomy and professional therapy availability. The Counselor Coercion Bill (S.121 – Hoylman/A.4958 – Glick) would make it unlawful for mental health professionals to practice change therapy with minor clients. Under this legislation, mental health professionals who engage in change therapy with clients under 18 years of age could have their licenses suspended or revoked, and could be fined up to $10,000.00 per charge. The bill should be rejected. When it comes to young people and change therapy, the state should follow principles of professional therapy availability, client autonomy, and parental involvement.
5. Ethical mental health professionals utilize appropriate methods. Regarding change therapy,NYCF opposes any mental health practice that compromises appropriate boundaries between professional and client, or that fails to treat the client with dignity and respect. With regard to accusations of impropriety against practitioners of change therapy, NYCF believes it is appropriate to look carefully for a factual basis, as some such accusations have not been substantiated.
6. Youths and adults experiencing same-sex attraction need love and compassion. Parental rejection and unsafe home or school environments can be devastating to young people, including youths with same-sex attraction. Loving and accepting a person with same-sex attraction does not require anyone to affirm that person’s adoption of an LGBT identity, or to approve of same-sex behavior. Churches and Christian homes should be places where persons who struggle with sin, or with questions about their faith, can receive love, guidance, and appropriate accountability.