New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight.
According to the Associated Press, in a signing note Christie said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice:
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. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.
According to CNN, Christie, a Catholic, Christie has stated his opposition to gay conversion therapy and in an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” said he did not think homosexuality is a sin:
Well, my religion says it’s a sin. But for me, I don’t. I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so, I think if someone is born that way, it’s very difficult to say then that that’s a sin. But I understand that my church says that.
Christie is as wrong about the teachings of his own religion as he is about signing the abhorrent legislation. Catholicism teaches that homosexual acts are a sin, not homosexuality.
New Jersey will be the second state to ban gay conversion therapy. California passed a similar ban last year, but the law became mired in litigation before it went into effect over whether the ban violates the First Amendment rights of therapists and parents.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the law on hold in December, held hearings on the litigation in April and still hasn’t issued a decision.
This move by the “centrist” Christie seems part of his strategy to run to the left of other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Cristie’s move to the left is also evidenced by his recent support for medical marijuana for ill children.