After initially stating that he was undecided on whether New Jersey should ban the controversial use of “gay conversion therapy,” Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he opposed the practice, but stopped short of taking a position on a bill that would ban the therapy on LGBT youth.
“Governor Christie does not believe in conversion therapy,” spokesman Kevin Roberts said in a statement to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “There is no mistaking his point of view on this when you look at his own prior statements where he makes clear that people’s sexual orientation is determined at birth.”
Just one day earlier, Christie told reporters that he only knows little about the practice, which is aimed at trying to “convert” gays to become straight.
Roberts declined to say why Christie changed his opinion overnight, which came just hours after Democratic challenger Barbara Buono slammed his indecision as “disgusting,”
“Gay children don’t need to be ‘cured,’” said Buono, a state senator from Middlesex, N.J.
Earlier this week, a state Senate panel advanced a bill that would prohibit licensed therapists from performing the controversial therapy any person under the age of 18.
Christie declined to indicate whether he’ll support the bill, and said that he won’t review the legislation until the final version is passed by state’s lawmakers.
The measure, S2278, is backed by the American Psychological Association’s research; opponents say a ban would infringe on parents’ ability to do what they think is best for their children.