A bill which would ban therapies which
attempt to alter a minor's sexual orientation from gay to straight in
New Jersey is expected to be introduced later this month.
Democratic Assemblyman Tim Eustace is
expected to formally introduce the measure when the Assembly returns
next Monday. Eustace is openly gay and has raised two children with
his partner of 31 years.
According to NJToday.net, Eustace's
bill is similar to one recently approved by lawmakers in California.
Governor Jerry Brown has yet to sign the bill into law.
“Studies and personal testimony have
shown this practice creates irreparable harm on young people
struggling to come to terms with their sexuality,” said
Eustace. “Forcing someone to deny their innate feelings and
their very existence has led to depression, suicidal tendencies and
other untold harm. Leading psychological professionals agree that
this practice has no place in legitimate mental health therapies. I
hope New Jersey will join California in leading the way on standing
up to this harmful practice.”
The proposed legislation would prohibit
mental health professionals from engaging in “sexual orientation
change efforts” with a minor.
The National Association for Research &
Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) strongly opposed California's law,
saying it would “likely increase harms to minors through its
unintended consequences” such as forcing parents to seek therapy
for their children from “unlicensed, unregulated and unaccountable