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N.J. Gov. Chris Christie undecided on proposed ban on ‘ex-gay’ therapy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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STONE HARBOR, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that he is undecided on whether the state should ban the controversial use of “gay conversion therapy.”

A state Senate panel on Monday advanced a bill that would prohibit licensed therapists from performing controversial therapy aimed a converting minors from gay to heterosexual.

Chris Christie

Christie told reporters that he only knows little about the method. He said that he had yet to look at the bill and, as is his custom, won’t review the legislation until the final version is passed by state’s lawmakers.

“I’m of two minds just on this stuff in general,” said Christie.

“Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children. I don’t — this is a general philosophy, not to his bill — 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. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them.”

The measure, S2278, is backed by the American Psychological Association’s research, and if passed, would prohibit counseling that seeks to change the sexual orientation for any person under the age of 18.

Opponents said a ban would infringe on parents’ ability to do what they think is best for their children.

Reporters also asked Christie about Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s decision last week to support same-sex marriage after his son revealed to him he is gay. While he still opposes same-sex marriage, Christie praised Portman, a fellow Republican.

“But as far as how it affects my view, no,” Christie said, “because that question implies that somehow this is a political judgment and for me it’s not.”

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