New Jersey just became the second state in the Union to ban conversion therapy for minors. Telling teens they can overcome their gayness through therapy and prayer, a practice considered by just about everyone with half a brain to be religiously motivated quackery, was banned by legislation signed by Governor Chris Christie earlier this morning.
As tough as I’m sure it was to turn his back on the roundly discredited pseudoscience, Christie went with the experts on this one. The American Psychological Association has been saying for nigh on a decade that conversion therapy does more harm than good, and that most of the “research” promoting the practice is bogus.
The legislation is the latest blow to the ex-gay movement, which has lately been hobbled by some of its most high-profile members pulling their support for the cause. Just last month, Randy Thomas, vice president of the prominent ex-gay ministry Exodus International and erstwhile “ex-gay superstar,” issued an apology to the LGBTQ community over its message that homosexuality could be cured.
Our next-door neighbors are ahead of the curve on this legislation. The only other state with similar legislation is California, which was the first state to ban ex-gay therapy for minors back in 2012. The law is tied up in a federal appeals court, however, because the law’s opponents out there have somehow managed to construe the ban as an infringement of their First Amendment rights.