New Jersey To Ban Conversion Therapy For Minors

As Republican Governor and potential 2016 presidential hopeful Chris Christie signs a new bill into law today, New Jersey will become the second state in the country to ban conversion therapy for minors. The measure was previously passed by the state's congress in July, and until recently, it was unclear as to whether Christie would endorse it and sign it into law. Christie has, however, previously expressed his opposition to the practice, and even stated in a CNN interview that he does not believe homosexuality to be a sin, despite his Catholic background. 

CNN obtained a copy of Christie's upcoming statement, which highlights Christie's evidence-based approach to the bill:

“The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”

Chris-ChristieChristie's statement will also recognize “government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children,” no doubt an appeal to his conservative supporters, as well as an anticipation of backlash that will likely arise in response to the new bill. Similar legal challenges have already arisen in California, the first state to ban conversion therapy for minors. 

Political analysts are already viewing Christie's decision to sign the bill "through the prism of the 2016 race for the White House." "Christie, a centrist Republican, is considered a leading candidate for his party’s presidential nomination," reported CNN. While today's statement will almost certainly draw ire from social conservatives, analysts are still waiting to see how this compromise on social issues might help him gather support from voters toward the middle of the spectrum. 

"Gay conversion therapy is the latest high-profile legislation that Christie has addressed in recent days, the others dealing with medical marijuana and his veto of a bill that would ban certain guns. Christie is seeking re-election in November and public polling shows that he should easily win a second term."


  1. mike says

    but dont go thinking he’s a moderate in anyway. He just vetoed his own bullet ban bill, hes for the Ryan budget plan etc…hes just like the rest of them.

  2. Caliban says

    What’s interesting is that Christie clearly has plans to run for President and he’s not going to do anything that might get in the way of that. So he’s determined that banning “conversion therapy” won’t hurt him with the GOP base, that even THEY don’t believe in it any longer.

    Believe it or not it’s progress of a sort.

  3. Francis says

    I think he feels banning this and the positives that come from that outweigh whatever he will lose from Republicans who disagree with this decision.

    This is good news, but will be challenged in court as has occurred in California. We can only hope the court decisions in these cases see through the lies and uphold the ban on this quackery.

  4. jamal49 says

    Well, there goes the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Courageous move on Gov. Christie’s part though. Occasionally, sanity–like the sun on a cloudy day–will break through the Tea Batty murk of the GOP.

  5. Brendan says

    What baffles me is that this man just made it illegal to perform gay conversion therapy on minors.
    He also doesn’t believe that homosexuality is a sin, BUT he will veto a bill that is put on his desk that would allow same-sex marriage in the State.
    I’m baffled by his logic… and still think that he’s not all that as a governor.

  6. Jere says

    Brendan, that’s because there is NO logic to it at all, other than that he thinks he can sell this to the far right religious fundamentalists to whom the GOP cowtows when he runs for President in 3 years.

  7. will says

    Luke: You’re wrong. Times are changing. He may lose the social con vote, but so what? There’s always a push by the GOP elite (which works) to elect the candidate most likely to beat the dem nominee (Hillary coming up) during the primary season. The aocial cons will then either vote for Christie or not vote for the President at all.

    Something not reported here in all the other stories: “In a note accompanying the bill, Christie said he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin.” Good for him.

  8. anon says

    Christie’s approach to legislation has always been politically pragmatic, which will frustrate anyone trying to find a core philosophy.

    He might ban gay conversion therapy, but don’t ask him to ban large sodas or fast food ala Bloomberg.

  9. Chuck says

    He has no idea if anyone may benefit from “Conversion Therapy”. Perhaps a percentage of people may benefit. It’s purely a political move and I don’t really think he did this out of a sense of concern for gay adolescents.
    If there were a pill that would change ones “orientation” from gay to straight, would he ban that? Suppose someone really wanted to change? I guess Gov. Christie is saying…”not on my state you don’t”!!! BIG GOVERNMENT GETTING INVOLVED IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES AGAIN….Isn’t that right Mr. Christie? (Hypocrite)

  10. Pat says

    Oh my! What other types of hurtful therapies will he ban next? Or is it just a gay thing? I had no idea he had a background in ethics as it relates psychotherapy.

  11. rick scatorum says

    Just got in to Newark airport where both passport control and customs processed my partner (not spouse, under Christie’s veto last year) and I as a couple.

    Too bad this ‘centrist’ hasn’t caught up with the feds.

  12. andrew says

    Christie is a good and honorable man. He has done what he thinks is right, even though ever body knows this will make it more difficult for him to win the wingnut Republican primaries.

  13. andrew says

    @RICK SCATORUM: The Catholic Church teaches that ALL sexual activity outside of marriage is seriously sinful. Everything from solitary masturbation to full on heterosexual sex is gravely sinful outside of marriage. They also teach that even inside of marriage, if the male deposits his semen inside any place other than the vagina of his spouse , it is gravely sinful.

  14. Pat says

    Rick….It seems like your problem has more to do with the Catholic Church rather than the prospect of gay conversion therapy. Suppose Christie were to ban the Catholic Church in the State of NJ? After all, it makes people (both gay and not gay) feel guilty about their lives in general….and Christie would certainly want to protect us from that!

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