New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a controversial bill into law banning gay conversion therapy, making his state the second in the nation to formally ban the discredited practice of therapeutically attempting to “reverse” homosexuality.
Chris Christie’s gay conversion ban is one that few states have considered formally addressing, and Christie himself expressed reservations about the decision to legislate the practice deemed by many professionals as not only ineffective, but extremely harmful.
Christie’s Catholic faith views gay thoughts and acts as sinful, but the governor admits that the harm posed by the practice of gay conversion therapy warrants a legislative action in banning the practice.
In his signing note, the conservative (who has come under fire in the past for putting people above party politics) admits that he personally believes the government “should tread carefully into this area,” adding “I do so here reluctantly.”
But Christie also says that the mental health damage risked by such a practice being allowed to continue unfettered is one he’s not willing to assume, particularly when children unable to consent for themselves to the “therapy” are being exposed to its risks.
“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.”
The practice of gay conversion therapy addressed in the bill signed by Chris Christie Monday is still technically legal in the 48 other states, but has been considered clinically ineffective by mainstream mental health professionals for years. The “therapy” is also linked with higher rates of suicide and depression among gay teens.