Republican Governor Chris Christie signed into law an ordinance protecting gay teenagers from…themselves?
With Christie’s signature, New Jersey became the second state (the other being California) to ban “gay conversion therapies.”
The Washington Times reports that: “The bill forbids any psychologist, social worker, or licensed therapist from counseling children younger than 18 into changing their sexual orientation.”
“Government should tread carefully into this area,” Christie said, “and I do so here reluctantly.”
According to the Daily Mail, “Christie said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation trumped concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice.”
Advocates of the treatment, called reparation therapy, “say the practice can help counsel troubled teens dealing with their sexuality or who express a desire to become heterosexual.”
At least one group which supports “gay therapy” plans to file suit to overturn the statute, arguing that the law “is an infringement on parental rights to raise their children the way they see fit, or to seek counseling in the wake traumatic events.”
Matt Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said the bill “is so broad that parents would be prohibited from seeking help for their son who developed unwanted same-sex attractions after being molested by the likes of Jerry Sandusky.”
Whether gay therapy is effective and beneficial is up to the therapy-seeker to determine, which they ought to have the right to do.
Staver summed up Christie’s decision, calling it a “slippery slope of government infringing upon the First Amendment rights of counselors to provide, and patients to receive, counseling consistent with their religious beliefs.”