There was one particular testimony before the New Jersey Senate detailing the dangers of “gay conversion therapy” that was so riveting that it sounded like something taken straight out of a Hollywood script. It now appears that it was taken straight out of Hollywood. So, not only is the New Jersey Senate in danger of passing a terribly unfair, discriminatory bill, but the most compelling testimony presented appears to be a fabrication.
Before getting into the details of what appears to be an incredible hoax, it’s important to understand the nature of this very dangerous bill, which would make it illegal for a licensed therapist to offer professional help to a minor with unwanted same-sex attractions, even if the minor had parental permission.
Yet if that minor wanted to find out how to embrace those same-sex attractions, or if that minor felt he was a boy trapped in a girl’s body and wanted to explore hormone therapy with a view towards sex-change surgery, that would be fine. But let that same young person say, “I’m troubled by my same sex attractions and would like to explore the possibility of change,” that would be illegal if this outrageous bill passes.
As I noted on June 1, 2012 with reference to a similar bill that was being considered in California (it passed, but is being held up due to legal appeals), “California Senator Ted Lieu, the author of the bill, removed any doubt as to why he introduced it: ‘The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don’t want to let parents harm their children.’”
This is a startling example of government overreach, not only between parents and their children but also between patient and client. As Carol Gallentine said to the Senate committee last week, “I don't understand who you people are, trying to come into our homes and tell us what to do with our children. I see you people bullying the parents.”
Ironically, in schools all over America (including New Jersey), a girl who wants to come out as lesbian can be encouraged by public school counselors or teachers to join the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. There, she will be encouraged not to tell her parents about her decision and not to listen to their religious viewpoints. But now, New Jersey is considering passing a bill that will make it illegal to offer professional help to a minor (even with parental permission) if that child doesn’t want to embrace a gay identity.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.