A conservative social commentator has criticised New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to sign into law a bill banning the practice of “gay cure” therapy on minors, saying he has “banned chastity”.
Maggie Gallagher, who is on the board of the National Organisation for Marraige, has since spoken out to attack the Governor, suggesting it removes rights from parents and teenagers, and also that it is an attack on thos who “wish to live in accordance with Bible-based values”.
She said: “Governor Chris Christie has just put his name to a bill that uses the power of government to strip both parents and teenagers of the right to seek competent, professional help to live their life in accordance with their own values. The bill does not ban a specific kind of destructive therapy; it is a blanket ban on any licensed counseling professional helping any teenager who does not wish to act on gay (or transgender) desire. Not only efforts to change orientation but efforts to change behavior are forbidden, under penalty of law.
“Governor Christie just endorsed a law that thus excludes many gay teens who wish to live in accordance with Bible-based values from the circle of care; he has outright banned chastity as a goal of counseling. His bill is not only anti-religious, anti-liberty, and anti-family, it is anti-science because it does not permit scientific knowledge to evolve in the hands of competent professionals.”
Governor Christie had noted that he had carefully scrutinised the bill before giving it his signature but had come to support it after viewing the evidence from the American Psychological Association which showed that efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation could pose “critical health risks.”
In his statement he added that “I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate,”
Gay conversion therapy has been widely debunked with the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association both condemning the practice.
The New Jersey bill had received bipartisan support in the New Jersey legislature in June and Governor Christie had been widely expected to sign it.
The bill had been met with opposition from Republicans who claimed it that it would take away parents choice on how to raise their children.