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Aug 21 2013

Christie Signs Bill Banning ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

Oh boy, this one is definitely going to get him in trouble with the Christian right base of the Republican party. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey just signed a bill that outlaws gay reversion therapy in that state. He issued a statement pointing to the harms of such therapy:

The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.

Christie’s track record on LGBT issues is decidedly mixed. He vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in his state, but he supports civil unions. And he’s on the record saying he thinks people are born gay, so perhaps this shouldn’t be a shock. But politically, it’s a striking move for someone who may seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

A survey earlier this year found that 90% of people who underwent “ex-gay” therapy found it to be very harmful (to be fair, this was a poll of members of a group that fights against reversion therapy, so it’s not a random sample). And the survey found that the reasons people tried it in the first place were almost entirely based on fear.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    I wouldn’t say his track record is mixed, more like he’s stuck in the middle. Like if acknowledging homosexuals as full human beings with the same rights as heterosexuals is a 10 and Uganda is a 1, Christie is maybe a 5. Or something like that.

  2. 2
    Doug Little

    Good for him. I hope he runs, it’s gonna get real interesting in that clown car when the rest of the clowns are trying in vain to squash themselves into the farthest corner away from him.

  3. 3
    Mr Ed

    I think Christie is trying to be conservative enough to win primaries without risking the general election later.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    tomh

    The bill doesn’t ban the therapy in New Jersey. It prohibits parents from inflicting it on their minor children. Federal courts may still find it an unconstitutional incursion on parental rights.

  6. 6
    tbp1

    Wow, a Republic doing something both rational and humane. Was that a pig flying by my office window?

  7. 7
    Abdul Alhazred

    It’s not just an LGBT issue.
    It’s a question of whether to tolerate medical quackery.
    This should be somehow separable from “Biblical” arguments about the morality of certain sex acts.

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    *Mechanic taps on hood, scratches head*
    “It could take us a while to find what’s wrong, Ma’am. What we got here is an inconsistent asshole.”

  9. 9
    John Pieret

    It’s a question of whether to tolerate medical quackery.
    This should be somehow separable from “Biblical” arguments about the morality of certain sex acts.

    Unfortunately, the medical quackery is solely based on “Biblical” arguments about the morality of certain sex acts. That actually is the more serious constitutional problem for this law. Parental rights to subject their children to medical treatment or withhold medical treatment from them are much circumscribed by the state’s interest in and right to protect the welfare of minors. But the parental right to inculcate their religious beliefs in their children is likely to be found to be much broader. Arguably, the state might be able to step in to prevent psychological abuse by a parent, but when that abuse is in the form of religious indoctrination, the state might have to show physical, not merely psychological, injury to the child in order for it to step in, because the Free Exercise clause is a much stronger ground for the parents’ rights.

  10. 10
    democommie

    Well, Christie just vetoed the legislatures attempt to ban ownership, by WhichExiters, of the .50 caliber rifle. So he’s definitely in “full tilt pander” mode. His problem is that he hasn’t realized that you can only pander to one group or one sort of group at a time.

  11. 11
    Michael Heath

    Chris Christie is in a pickle. On the one hand his career goals has requires that he pander to the worst elements of the GOP (which is now the entire party). On the other hand he’s looking to do so in a way where he’s got a shot to become an in-resident sycophant of Bruce.

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