NJ Senate Panel Passes Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

ex-gay-switchFollowing a three-hour hearing in Trenton Monday night, a New Jersey Senate panel approved a bill that would ban psychiatrists, social workers and family therapists from “engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.”

The bill passed the Senate’s health committee with a vote of 7-1 with two abstentions.

A petition to ban gay “conversion therapy” in the state — started by Jacob Rudolph, whose coming-out video went viral earlier this year — has garnered over 100,000 signatures.

The committee heard several stories from victims of the widely-discredited practice, including Brielle Sophia Goldani, a transgender woman forced to undergo conversion therapy at a camp in Ohio who tried to kill herself three times; Troy Stevenson, executive director for Garden State Equality, whose friend committed suicide after his parents sent him to a similar camp; and Jonathan Bier, an 18-year-old college student who was threatened with expulsion from his yeshiva if he didn’t undergo the therapy.

The bill’s main sponsor, openly gay State Assemblyman Tim Eustace, said reparative therapy “constitutes child abuse.” He introduced the bill after “several constituents — young people — came to our office complaining that this still exists.”

In November, four men sued the New Jersey-based Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, accusing the conversion therapy group of psychological abuse and consumer fraud.

Opponents of the bill fear it may intrude on patients’ rights and interfere with the counselor-patient relationship. California passed a similar ban on conversion therapy for minors last September, but that is currently on hold until appeal arguments are heard.

Meanwhile, Jersey’s bill will advance to the full Senate for approval.

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  • Charles175

    So if this so called therapy actually works, and there are (as the fundies claim) tens of thousands of success stories across the country, then where are these people en-mass? How come there has never been even one ex-gay pride parade, no not one at all? Believe you me if there were actual tens of thousands of these ex-gays as they claimed, the Fundamentalists would be parading them around in front of the media all the time. Show me ANY so called ex-gay person and through careful Q & A’s and I’ll show you someone that was never truly gay in the first place.

  • Cam

    “”Opponents of the bill fear it may intrude on patients’ rights and interfere with the counselor-patient relationship.”

    So if some Therapist convinced people that they could make you able to fly if they beat you repeatedly would it violate patients rights to outlaw the practice?

  • Polaro

    Facts are the darnedest things. Sexuality is not a choice. I know nut jobs want to say it is, but we all know it isn’t. I, for one, would be straight and have a bunch of kids by now… It is not a behavioral issue that can be unlearned, it is an innate trait. The failing of these homophobes to understand this is depressing. You can’t have a civilized discussion if you can’t even agree on facts. Maybe my sexuality is a birth defect…but it isn’t something that can be change using electrodes strapped to my penis…although that could be fun if done right.

  • schlukitz


    As the old adage goes, they’ve already made up their minds. Don’t confuse them with the facts. ;-)

  • Victor_in_PA

    I say, wherever there is an “ex-gay” therapy clinic we ought to open an “ex-straight” clinic next door. Let’s see how many straights we convert and they can see how many gays they convert and we’ll compare. Of course you KNOW everyone will be at our place. We throw the BEST parties!

  • Derek Williams

    Let’s do the math:

    World population at my birth 2.6 billion. Now I am 60 years old, it’s 7 billion. The ex-gay snake-oil salesman want more child bearing people in the world, to wit, the openly gay 5% (based on US Census exit polls of openly gay 2004, 2008 and 2012) which totals at least 350 million homosexuals.

    All these “therapists” charge fees, so there is a massive growth market in peddling a ‘treatment’ that gives hope to homophobes, but results to no-one.

    There is no way on this earth that 350 million homosexuals can be “turned straight” even if we wanted to be. And the consequences for global overpopulation reaching explosive proportions cannot be over-estimated.

    I am glad to hear these quacks with greedy eyes are finally being shown up and progressively sent to the dog box.

  • Shannon1981

    State by state, this horrific practice will be outlawed. Good job, New Jersey.

Comments are closed.