NJ governor signs ban on gay conversion therapy
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a law barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight.
Christie said the health risks of trying to change a child's sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, trump concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice. The APA and other major medical and mental health groups believe that "sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks."
In signing the ban, Christie reiterated his belief that people are born gay and homosexuality is not a sin. That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins.
Conversion therapy gained attention two years ago when former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was questioned over whether her husband's Christian counseling business provided services that attempted to change gays and lesbians. Bachmann's husband, Marcus, denied involvement in the therapy.
In June, the leader of Exodus International, a Christian ministry that worked to help people repress same-sex attraction, announced the closing of Exodus. Alan Chambers apologized to the gay community for inflicting what he called "years of undue suffering."
But supporters like New Jersey-based JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Health, oppose the legislation. JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg says scientific data point to effectiveness of the treatment. Goldberg also contends New Jersey lawmakers relied on false witness claims and misinterpretation of the views of professional groups.
272-a-10-(Arthur Goldberg, co-director, JOHAN-Jews Offering New Allternatives for Healing, in AP interview)-"dealng with"-JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg says conversion therapy techniques are conventional. (19 Aug 2013)
Created: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 04:14:56 EST
Updated: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 04:14:56 EST