Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is a series of “pseudo-scientific” treatments that attempt to change one’s sexual orientation. The NJ bill will bar licensed therapists from administering gay conversion therapy on teenagers; a treatment the openly gay NJ assemblyman, Tim Eustace, has declared is an “insidious form of child abuse.”
The debate rages between gay rights activists who claim gay conversion therapy is damaging to a child’s psyche, while conservatives argue it is a parental rights' issue. A note attached to the document, obtained by The Associated Press, portrays Chris Christie’s support for the bill with a slight disclaimer.
Government should tread carefully into this area, and I do so here reluctantly. However, I also believe that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.
Governor Christie went on to state that he believed people are born gay and to attempt to change a teenager’s sexual orientation would be detrimental to the health and psychological well-being of the child, as outlined by the American Psychological Association.
In June both houses of the New Jersey Legislature passed the bill, that now bans gay conversion therapy, with bipartisan support. Governor Chris Christie's signature joins New Jersey and California as the only two states to ban gay conversion therapy on children.
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