The battle over gay conversion therapy has come to New Jersey — and Republican Gov. Chris Christie isn’t sure how he’ll handle a proposed ban on the process.
In a day and age in which homosexuality is becoming more acceptable among the American populace, so-called gay conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) has come under increasing fire.
While some Christian counselors believe in the process, which is an effort to help individuals with same-sex attraction overcome their feelings, opponents contend that it is entirely counter-productive, with some charging that it leaves gay men and women emotionally damaged.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is among the groups that derides conversion therapy, with the organization writing on its web site that it, “opposes, the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion”‘therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”
This week, Christie, known for his fiery commentary and no-holds-barred political statements, addressed legislation that would ban these controversial therapies. Rather than taking a definitive stance, he explained that he’s undecided on the matter.
“I’m of two minds just on this stuff in general,” he said. “Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children…Generally philosophically, on bills that restrict parents ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I’m generally a skeptic of those bills.”
While the governor noted that this is generally his stance, he also said that there are exceptions to this rule and that the gay therapy ban may, in fact, be one of them. Additionally, according to NJ.com, Christie admitted to knowing very little about the process and said that he had not yet reviewed the bill.
His inconclusive stance is not entirely surprising, as Christie remains opposed to same-sex marriage — a stance that has obviously frustrated gay rights proponents.
As The Huffington Post notes, New Jersey Senate’s health committee approved legislation earlier this week that would ban reparative therapy for minors — even in cases in which parents give permission. So far, the only U.S. state to pass a ban is California, however that law has been put on hold by a federal appeals court.
(H/T: Huffington Post)
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