NJ Law Bans Gay Conversion Therapy
September 6, 2013
On August 19th, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors. Gay conversion therapy is when a counselor or therapist attempts to convert a lesbian, gay or bisexual person into a heterosexual person. But, this is absurd because a person’s sexual orientation is determined at birth and it’s impossible to change it.
The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and other mental health organizations say that gay conversion therapy can lead to depression and suicide among those who undergo it. Common tactics used by gay conversion groups can include verbally abusing lesbian, gay or bi teens by telling them that they will die from AIDS, that they will never find love and that God hates them, as well as, sometimes, physically abusing them.
New Jersey is now the second state to outlaw gay conversion therapy for minors, as California outlawed the practice last year. A judge blocked parts of the California law, but an appeals court has since upheld the law, saying that it does not limit freedom of speech. A lawsuit has already been filed challenging the New Jersey law. Let’s hope that any judge who ends up presiding over the case realizes that freedom of speech does not include mentally and emotionally abusing teenagers.