ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York's Democratic-led Assembly is set to take up bill banning licensed health officials from administering therapy to minors in the hopes of changing their sexual orientation.

Mathew Shurka, a native of Great Neck, describes himself as sexually uncomfortable as a result of five years of therapy to ``cure'' his homosexuality. Therapy for the 26-year-old began at age 16.

Shurka, while still underage, was told to avoid women and surround himself with male friends in the hopes of learning to act like a heterosexual man. A therapist even advised he watch heterosexual pornography to curb his homosexual thoughts.

The bill would apply to licensed psychologist, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health practitioners and physicians, but not members of the clergy.

The measure has also been introduced in the Republican-led Senate.