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N.J. state Senate approves bill to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

Thursday, June 27, 2013

TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey state Senate passed a bill Thursday to ban licensed therapists from trying to convert gay minors into heterosexuals.

It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie, who has declined to answer questions about his views of the issue.

Supporters of the ban say that so-called “conversion therapy” (also known as reparative therapy) is damaging to young people and that it is wrong to think that homosexuality is something that can or should be “cured.”

“The impacts of this kind of so called ‘treatment,’ both short-term and long-term, can be absolutely devastating to those that have been forced into it,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford, said in a statement. “This legislation is about protecting our children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these kids and this practice must come to an end immediately.”

Opponents, mostly social conservatives, say the bill restricts what counselors can do and interferes with the rights of parents to do what they believe is best for their children.

The bill’s proponents say it would not bar counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and social workers from working with patients on issues related to sexual orientation, though they would be prohibited from having changing sexual orientation as their goal.

The Senate passed the bill Thursday on a 28-9 vote. The Assembly had already adopted it.

Last year, California became the first state to ban the practice in a bill that is broader than the one in New Jersey. But a judge halted implementation amid arguments about the law’s constitutionality.

Last week, the leader of Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International apologized to the gay community for years of providing the counseling and said Exodus would disband.

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14 more reader comments:

  1. Proud of my home state! I hope Gov. Christie signs it!

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:51pm
  2. about time

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:52pm
  3. Only for minors? Well, I guess baby steps.

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:53pm
  4. Needs to be illegal for everyone…if the American Psychology Association says it is not only ineffective, but does far more harm than good, then I don’t see a problem with banning it altogether.

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:54pm
  5. Christie will veto it.

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:57pm
  6. God be praised! This is legalized, institutionalized rape, in so many ways–good riddance!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 6:59pm
  7. Umm… Conversion therapy is against ethics.. Can you not lose your license for treating anyone w this unethical process that the ACA/APA deems harmful!

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm
  8. beyond stupid

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:06pm
  9. Ineffective and dangerous therapeutic intervention!

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:10pm
  10. I didn’t know that was even practiced!

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:31pm
  11. This is absolutely ignorant … They need to do conversion therapy on the idiots that came up with this

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:58pm
  12. Meh, if you screw yourself up because you elected to undergo “conversion therapy”, then that’s your own stupid fault, your own stupid problem, and your own stupid right.

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:47pm
  13. That said, minors should be protected from bizarre, damaging, pseudo-scientific psychiatry like this.

    Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:49pm
  14. beby steps

    Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:24am