This week, Chris Christie’s position on “gay therapy,” or gay conversion therapy, came to the fore in New Jersey — as the Republican governor initially failed to take a stance on the controversial and discredited psychological practice.
Gov. Christie‘s gay therapy position came to the fore on Thursday, as it seemed the GOP lawmaker was equivocating on the matter of whether minors should be subjected to gay conversion attempts — a practice that has been widely deemed unethical and damaging in recent years.
Christie’s gay therapy remarks Wednesday sparked initial furor, as the governor verbally weighed the disputed practice against parental rights when discussing the issue.
“You know, I’m of two minds on this stuff in general. One, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children … I’m generally a skeptic on those things. Now there can always be exceptions to those rules, and this bill may be one of them.”
The bill to which Christie referred would prohibit mental health practitioners in the state from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation through gay therapy.
State Sen. Barbara Buono lashed out at Christie’s gay therapy equivocation, deeming his shaky stance on the proposed bill harmful to New Jersey minors. Buono said:
“Gay children don’t need to be cured, they need to be loved like all of our children. It’s an outrageous practice that has no place in New Jersey … I was shocked at the stunning level of ignorance that statement showed.”
Spokesman Kevin Roberts was forced to issue a clarification on Christie’s gay therapy position Thursday, stating unequivocally that the governor opposed the practice
“Governor Christie does not believe in conversion therapy. There is no mistaking his point of view on this when you look at his own prior statements where he makes clear that people’s sexual orientation is determined at birth.”
Christie’s gay therapy bill stance was not entirely clarified in the statement.