Coming hot on the heels of Governor Jerry Browns signing into law a bill that bans ex-gay reparative therapy on California minors. Openly gay New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace says that now he will introduce a bill similar to California’s ban to the New Jersey State Senate.
“I see it as a form of child abuse,” Eustace said. Being gay “is not an illness, so what are they fixing?” “Conversion” or “reparative” therapy has been discredited by all major mental health organizations, according to the American Psychological Association. Since parents may force their children to undergo the therapy, the state should protect them, Eustace said. The bills will face stiff resistance from the New Jersey Family Policy Council, a group that opposes gay marriage. Government should not interfere with parental decisions, said the group’s founder and president, Len Deo. “The American Psychological Association has been very ‘progressive’ in their viewpoints. I would say there are thousands who have utilized this therapy that have left the gay lifestyle,” he said. “Assemblyman Eustace now becomes the parental authority for all . . . kids? Give me a break,” Deo added. “A kid can’t get a tattoo in New Jersey without a parent’s consent. To take the flip side on this and take away the right of the parents on this issue is ludicrous.”
There has been no word from New jersey Governor Chris Christie’s office on whether if such a Bill were to pass if he would sign it into law.