Patrick Burke, a legislator in New York’s Erie County, proposed a bill this week that would ban conversion therapy for minors. The proposed law would only affect Burke’s county, which includes the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area, but the bill has garnered national attention because of its name: Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment—or PENCE, for short.
Burke named the bill after Vice President-elect Mike Pence in order to draw attention to Pence’s stated support of programs that would attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people.
“Conversion therapy is an abomination. It is clearly abuse. It’s brainwashing. It does real damage. Even calling it conversion therapy takes the edge off of what it really is,” Burke told NBC OUT.
“The Vice President-elect has been a supporter of this, and he’s earned the name. People need to remember this. Mike Pence’s views are extreme. I don’t want them to become normalized. This isn’t normal—none of this is OK. We have work to do,” he added.
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Source: NBC News