New Jersey

N.J. state Senate delays vote on proposed ban on reparative therapy


TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Senate has put off a vote on a bill that would prohibit licensed therapists from performing controversial gay-to-straight conversion therapy on minors.

The postponement was made Thursday to allow for unspecified changes to be made to the legislation.

It will be heard next by an Assembly panel.

A Senate panel advanced the measure in March after a debate about the practice and how much say the state should have in parents’ decisions on how to raise their children.

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.

The controversial practice, also referred to as “reparative therapy,” has increasingly drawn criticism.

Last year, four gay men sued a Jersey City group for fraud, saying its program included making them strip naked and attack effigies of their mothers with baseball bats.

In California, the state legislature passed a similar bill that was signed into law in September by Gov. Jerry Brown, but was placed on hold by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals until it can consider a challenge to the issue.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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