Christie 'of Two Minds' on 'Gay Conversion' Therapy Ban
Governor undecided on whether he'll support Senate bill that would outlaw the practice among minors.
Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he is not sure if he would sign a bill banning minors from so-called "gay conversion" therapy should it reach his desk, nj.com reports.
The New Jersey Senate's Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted 7-1 Monday to advance a bill to the full Senate that would outlaw the controversial practice, which seeks to alter a patient's sexual orientation.
"I'm of two minds just on this stuff in general," he said in Stone Harbor, nj.com reports. "Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children. I don't — this is a general philosophy, not to his bill — generally philosophically, on bills that restrict parents ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I'm generally a skeptic of those bills. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them."
The Senate bill would prevent any counselor — psychiatrist, social worker, therapist, etc. — from attempting therapy to change minors' sexual orientation but would allow professionals to provide counseling that offers support and coping skills for minors struggling with their sexuality. Counselors who violate the law would face sanctioning under their professional licensing board.