"Ex-Gays" | New Jersey | News | Troy Stevenson

NJ Senate Panel to Consider Bill Outlawing 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

The New Jersey Senate Health Committee this morning is considering legislation that would ban so-called gay conversion therapy, the Star-Ledger reports:

State Assemblyman Tim Eustace, an openly gay Democrat from Bergen County, is the lead sponsor the bill (A3371) — which would ban licensed practitioners from performing the therapy on minors, even with parental permission. New Jersey would join California as the only states doing so.

AStevensonmong those testifying before the committee will be Troy Stevenson (right), executive director of Garden State Equality. He offered PolitickerNJ a preview of what his testimony would be about, and why the issue is personal for him:

"When I was 15 years old, I met a young man from the rival high school in my home town in Oklahoma," Stevenson said. "He was the first person I felt I could truly connect with, the first person I came out to, and the first person I ever kissed.

"But that first kiss was interrupted. The football team caught us behind the school after practice. We ran for what we felt was our lives, and what may very well have been in Oklahoma in the early 1990s.

"We made it to our homes safely, and my first call was to my friend to make sure he was OK.

"But he wasn't OK," Stevenson said. "He described the 'conversion' camp his parents sent him to when he told them he was gay. He described things that I couldn't imagine, indignities that I won't repeat. He said, 'I will never go back.'

"That was the last time we spoke. The next day I found out that he took his life. There is no doubt in my mind that the thought of returning to that torment was more than he could take. 

UPDATE: The Senate Health Committee advanced the measure 7-1.

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  1. Why bother? Christie is just gonna veto the legislation, right? Like he did marriage.

    Posted by: Keppler | Mar 18, 2013 11:58:00 AM

  2. Ex Gay Therapy Kills LGBT people. Stop it before it kills again.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 18, 2013 12:34:20 PM

  3. If Christie gets re-elected even with his racism and homophobia on full display, then that his how I will view the entire State of NJ.

    Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 18, 2013 12:50:49 PM

  4. He doesn't represent the parts of NJ that I know. I have family in Warren. It is a lovely and affluent area, but it is full of New Yorkers who wanted more space to live and get away from the city. Christie is going to evolve on this one, Im betting.

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 18, 2013 1:10:12 PM

  5. this is the right thing.....I am a therapist and there are so many things wrong with the so called "therapy" they use....first of all....sexual orientation is immutable. it CANNOT be changed....however, sexual behavior can be changed....this type of therapy is like forcing someone to put a square peg into a round hole....it doesn't work!....they are asking/telling someone to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight.....that too does not work....the therapy they attempt to use is ANTITHETICAL to a human's soul/psyche.....I could go on and on about ex gay therapy.........

    Posted by: Bernie | Mar 18, 2013 7:16:11 PM

  6. Good luck on this. I believe such a law in California was struck down by a judge. If we can't ban them, at the very least we should strive to make sure insurance doesn't pay for it. Were it to do so, I would call that insurance fraud.

    Posted by: Stan D | Mar 19, 2013 2:43:45 AM

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