Christie Signs Bill Banning Gay “Conversion Therapy” for Minors in New Jersey

Rainbow Gay Rights

Many groups and organization, and more than 143,000 individuals in New Jersey spoke, and apparently Governor Chris Christie listened. This morning, he signed into law a bill that would prohibit licensed professionals from using “conversion therapy” on minors in the state. The controversial treatment attempts to convert gay youth into heterosexuals. The 143K names were gathered on Jacob Rudolph’s petition, which appeared on Change.org.

According to the Associated Press, the Governor explained his decision this way: “Government should tread carefully into this area and I do so here reluctantly. However, I also believe that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” Christie said, citing a litany of potential ill effects of trying to change sexual orientation, including depression and suicide. “I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”

Rudolph is the 18-year-old Parsippany teen whose coming out speech at a school awards ceremony went viral on YouTube in January, and later testified before both chambers of the New Jersey legislature in support of the bill. “This is a huge win for LGBT youth in New Jersey and across the country,” Rudolph said. “Governor Christie has made our state the second in the nation to ban this dangerous practice that attempts to fix people who aren’t broken. More than 143,000 people spoke out and urged the Governor to protect New Jersey kids like me, and that’s exactly what he did today.”

CNN reported that “The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association are just a handful of professional organizations that oppose this practice, saying it is harmful.”

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

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24 COMMENTS

  1. This is his first step towards “evolving” to supporting marriage equality.

    Remember, Obama, the smartest man in the world, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has only supported this basic civil right for a little over a year.

    Christie is proving himself to be a Great Governor. Though considering the last (a Democrat who cares about the little guy) is a crook (is Corzine in jail?), and the one before him an embarrassment (the hiring, and leaving his wife; not coming out), the competition isn’t too deep.

    I can’t tell, but has he lost any weight?

  2. “Christie is proving himself to be a Great Governor.”

    —really? what are his signature accomplishments that generate the designation of “Great”?

  3. Finally a Republican bucking the trend of stupid. Nice to see.

    But I am sure the hillbilly Republican wing from the polygon of intolerance (Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Carolinas, Georgia, Missouri) is not too happy about it.

    They of the idiotic intolerant right are still looking to burn witches (as well ad ostracize, threaten and humiliate LGBT citizens, kind of like they did with non-whites just a few decades ago).

    Thankfully this cohort of our population is being made more demographically irrelevant with each passing day.

  4. Have you been to the shore? Not all finished, but there’s an obvious feeling that the Towns are supported by the Gov AND the Feds (remember how gracious Christie was to Obama after Sandy, and before the election).

    Have you not seen the bipartisanship in NJ? That alone is something Obama can learn from.

    Simply having Sweeney and (Oliver, sometimes) BOTH Dems not fighting openly, and even working together is a big deal). Oh, and notice how he helped Cory Booker? Because it would be the best for NJ.

    Don’t think bipartisanship is important? Ask Mr. Obama a question and see how quickly he screams, “Obstructionist in Congress!”

    I would also add something that is perhaps more important, NJ and it’s citizens feel good about our State because we have a Gov who is willing to work “across the aisle,” and not just pay lip service to it.

    Now, you? Give me all the badness he’s done. All the broken promises. How bombastic he is, etc.

    But then ask yourself: would you really be happier with Corzine? Who I remind you, is a crook. Paid off Black Pastors to “help” his election, (I’ll leave Ms. Katz off this list. That was personal. Except, of course, that she was a Union leader).

    Yes. Great.

  5. “Now, you? Give me all the badness he’s done. All the broken promises. How bombastic he is, etc. ”

    —i didn’t make a single claim about Christie, prof—YOU did. i merely asked what earns him the designation “Great”.

    nothing you cited falls within my definition of “Great”—your standards apparently vary.

    but to cite NJ as a model of “bipartisanship” is hilariously myopic, and more of a comment about the current state of obstructionism—oops, Republicanism—in this country than a comment about Leadership in NJ…

  6. The Professor Jr:

    Your dumb comment is reductive and telling. But more to the point, makes no sense. You could also add such “enlightened Northern” States in your list as Michigan, NJ, Illinois.

    But your idea that only Southern states harbor or were racist or homophobic is breathtaking in it’s lack of historical accuracy and stupidity.

    However, like many in the enlightened North, you trade it using racial stereotypes against folks who you believe are racist. But of course, you’re not a racist because 1) live in Montclair, or 2) have a Black friend, or 3) have a Black person in your office (somewhere), or, my favorite, 4) you’re a Democrat.

    Tell me how that works…..

  7. Profwilliams, please note I only segmented the idiotic intolerant hillbilly right of the Republican party in these states. Not the entire party nor these entire states. It’s just that this population cohorts tends to cluster in the polygon of intolerance. But this is not an exclusive boundary.

    – The Real Professor

  8. The “great” Christie (and I voted for him) presides over a state with an unemployment rate higher than the national average and headed the wrong way.

    He endorsed Lonergan (“If you get cancer that’s your problem. I don’t want to pay for it.”).

    The shore is FULL of signs that proclaim “Stronger than the WHAT?”. Go there sometime, instead of just watching the Gov and family on their endless tax-payer supported promo.

    And you honestly think that NJ is bipartisan??? And that Christie is an example of that??

    Holy smokes!

  9. Ooooh, bipartisanship. Really?

    Christie ran on reducing property taxes. Thanks to Christie’s cutting funding to the Homestead rebate, the Record found that property taxes have gone up 19% in the three years that Christie has been in office. So, good job.

    In addition, NJ has the 7th highest unemployment rate in the country, and the highest in the region.

    Other than making a name for himself by picking fights with unions and hugging Obama, I don’t see where you get “great” from. He doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of the Republican nomination, so I don’t know why he wastes his (and indirectly, our) time on it.

  10. Hey there – Professor Jr -There are plenty of bigots on this side of the Mason Dixon Line, too. Some even post on Baristanet, regularly.

  11. Easy everyone, context is important. Prof compared him to Corzine, Obama and McGreevey. Who isn’t great compared to these jokers?

    Very few, if any, politicians are “Great” in their own right.

  12. Mr. Jr (and next time, try to be original with your handle; as it is, like your comment, it’s a retread of the past). I believe you’ve shown yourself, and how nonsensical your reasoning is. So your best bet now, rather than try to explain, is to move on. It’a August, no one is watching.

    @cro, did you really expect him to endorse Booker? He’s smarter than that, by choosing the date of the election, eh, forget it. You’re smart enough to see how he helped Booker.

    And fortunately, I’ve spend a few weeks at the Jersey shore, so I feel comfortable saying that the mood is positive, and a lot of that comes from the people, who all had nice things to say about Christie. Understand, I HATE “Stronger than the Storm,” but here Christie did something that a leader should (and which Obama failed to do after his election), he managed expectations and explained from the beginning that it would be a long road to recovery. (Wasn’t 2010 Recovery Summer?)

    He didn’t cause the storm. But a leader knows how to make folks feel after a tragic event (think: Clinton Oklahoma City; Bush ground zero; Obama Arizona).

    Lastly, as I stated, you cannot expect total agreement on all things. But considering, NJ has had a few years of bipartisanship. And did you see how I compared that with the Greatest Orator of His Generations inability to do the same? Maybe that’s because Dems and Repubs in NJ are just saner than most.

    Or it’s because we have a leader who, you know, leads.

    Oh, well. Enjoy the day. I have to check my ribs and get my cornbread together.

  13. Nope, way off prof.

    I’ve spent more than “a few weeks” at the shore. The general feeling is that things aren’t good. And of course Christie did not cause the storm, and his presence in the immediate aftermath was positive. And a nice change from his “I’m not leaving Disney World for a blizzard” a few years back. But then, we’ve forgotten that, ahven’t we?

    Obama has failed on many counts, but to suggest that he HASN”T faced the most obdurate and single-minded opposition in recent memory is foolish. Unfortunately, his lack of political as opposed to intellectual skills has hurt him in countering people who would sacrifice the good of the country in order to deny him any credit.

    Lonergan? Sane? Wow!

  14. I’ve spend every weekend of this summer at the shore and the vibe has been quite good all around and the recovery in many areas impressive, not sure where you have been spending your time croiagusanam.

  15. “Ask Mr. Obama a question and see how quickly he screams, “Obstructionist in Congress!””

    —and he would be correct. what’s the problem then?

    if you doubt this, please explain to me 1. the Democratic “equivalents” to Ted Cruz and Steve King and 2. the Republican “alternative” to Health Care.

  16. “Unfortunately, his lack of political as opposed to intellectual skills has hurt him in countering people who would sacrifice the good of the country in order to deny him any credit.”

    Right, he was naive and inexperienced, reason enough to not elect a 2nd time. Say what you want about Christie, he is not naive.

    I will say this, even though Obama is a huge joker, when we look at our 401ks and investments and their related returns over the past 6 years we can’t really complain.

    I’ll also say that those on the unemployment line, those that are underemployed and those that can’t find a job the pays a living wage probably feel different about him.

  17. Why bicker, in lovely Bay Head NJ. Ten weekends and counting. And the “vibe” has not been good. I guess we travel in different circles.

    Obama was inexperienced as to the difficulties working with entrenched pols in Washington.

    As was Reagan, Bush II, Clinton and so many others. And it appears that a sizeable majority of voters disagreed with you. Including, by the way, those that are unemployed and underemployed. Or do you think that he was re-elected only by those who are well-off?

  18. Back on topic: Conversion therapy is at best stupid and all too often simply child abuse. It is usually a sign of parental and moral failure coupled with the ridiculous idea that “now it is time to get that child under [my] control.” It is highly questionable if it is ever really successful; if it does work, it will likely do so at the destruction of a young life.

    Needing a separate law to prevent this is another question. Surely there is nothing great or high minded or highly intelligent in opposing “conversion therapy.” The real question we need to ask is what is wrong with our society when such a practice is so widespread that legislatures need to address it.

    This law is more symbolic than real. Parents who want to behave in this stupid way will do so, with or without such a law.

    In any event, the question of Governor Christie’s political greatness or failure does not turn on his signing this bill into law. There are more weighty points in his political career to bring to the scales. Only some silly little myopic guy could manage to turn this into a question of President Obama’s leadership

  19. Obama’s record on marriage equality sucks. I think at the moment he is supportive, but this has changed recently, no? Great is the wrong word, “strong” might be better. Christie leads with conviction. Obama simply doesn’t lead. Its a fair comparison and it sets Christie apart.

  20. Christie hasn’t done that great of a job with the shore. Yes, he showed up for photo-ops at a hastily rebuilt boardwalk. But for those of us who own second homes down the shore, it has been a complete mess since Sandy. There has been a total lack of coordination between the governor, FEMA, and municipal officials. Our flood elevation has changed 3 times since last October. Now, FEMA is saying we can’t get a C of O on the house unless we raise it 2 feet. 2 feet?! We had 4 feet of water in the house. This isn’t all Christie’s fault or doing… but for him to say that everything is “back” down the shore and everyone is upbeat is a gross overstatement. As it is now, only one house on our block has been restored. He likes to pass this off as a win for himself, but we’re all suffering. Its a huge disservice to NJ residents, especially those of us who have made the shore what it is for so long.

    As far as this latest Bill, I think’s its only smoke and mirrors to make himself more sellable to the mass market.

  21. The law just signed by Governor Christie is an extremely important and very much needed piece of legislation. I applaud the Governor’s action, and can but hope that this suggests his stand on marriage equality for same-sexed couples might be evolving.

    It is not a perfect law, and it has serious shortcomings, notably including the fact that violators are subject only to such sanctions as fines and suspension or loss of licensure, for its violation. There is no provision for the imprisonment of practitioners of this particularly insidious form of child abuse. I believe there should be.

    Similarly, there is no provision for the prosecution of parents or legal guardians who seek out such “therapy” for their wards, as again I feel there should be.

    Lastly, I have serious reservations over the seeming exemption of unlicensed religious counselors and so-called “life coaches” from the act’s purview. Practicing counseling is practicing counseling, and the mere adoption of a sectarian appellation ought not to dispense with the practitioner’s obligation to provide safe, quality care to his or her clients. Contrariwise, such individuals have an obligation to avoid harming their clients. That children could be subjected involuntarily to misguided, misinformed attempts to alter their inborn sexuality without hope of legal intervention or recourse is a horror to contemplate.

  22. Far more significant to me is the admission earlier this year by Exodus International, the largest purveyors of such snake oil, that “conversion therapy” simply doesn’t work.

Comments are closed.