Chris Christie Bans Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie outlines plans for a special election to be held to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died yesterday, on June 4, 2013 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie did not disclose who would fill the vacant seat until the election scheduled for October 16, 2013.
Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

In a last-minute decision, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has opted to sign a bill outlawing pseudoscientific “sexual orientation change efforts” for those under 18 years old. When the law passed, Christie, fearing government overreach, said he was “of two minds” on the controversial issue, although he did not personally believe in it. “Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children,” he said, adding “there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them.”

Today, he explained coming down on the side of the ban, “reluctantly,” the AP reports. “Government should tread carefully into this area,” he said. “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.” A similar ban in California is working its way through the courts; New York could be next.

Christie Bans Gay Conversion Therapy in N.J.