A federal judge on Friday upheld a New
Jersey law which bans “ex-gay” therapy to minors.
New Jersey in August became the second
state after California to prohibit so-called conversion therapy that
attempts to turn gay teens straight.
Republican Governor Chris Christie said
in signing the law that he does not believe being gay is a choice and
that such therapies expose children to health risks.
Two groups which promote such
therapies, the National Association for Research and Therapy of
Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian
Counselors, sued the state, arguing that the law infringes on parents
rights to “direct the upbringing and education of their children
according to their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Judge Freda L. Wolfson disagreed.
Wolfson wrote in her ruling that the
law does not violate free speech or religious protection.
Similar legislation has been filed in
several states, including New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.