This week, the New Jersey Assembly Women and Children Committee unanimously approved a bill that would ban therapists from practicing ex-gay “conversion” or “reparative” therapy on minors.
The bill already passed a Senate committee in March and will now move on to the full Assembly and Senate for votes, though it’s unclear whether Gov. Chris Christie would ultimately sign it into law.
The bill, modeled after California’s landmark legislation passed last year, would outlaw “sexual-orientation change efforts,” also known as “reparative therapy,” by licensed professionals on minors under 18 years old, forbidding psychiatrists, social workers, and other licensed mental health providers from engaging in attempts to “pray away the gay.” The “therapy” has been condemned by every major mental health organization in the country, with the American Psychological Association calling the practice harmful.
“Studies and personal testimony have shown this practice creates irreparable harm on young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality,” said Democratic assemblyman Tim Eustace, one of the bill’s sponsors.
Every single study has found that conversion therapy does more harm than good, especially on minors. We really need to get the ball rolling on making this a nationwide ban. Keep it up, New Jersey.