Despite his “concerns about [the] government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children,” Governor Chris Christie signed into law a ban on ex-gay therapy for minors, thereby committing an outrageous act against both the people of New Jersey and his own Catholic faith.
Buying into the standard gay activist talking points, Christie explained that “on issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” because of which he felt this government intrusion into doctor-patient relationships was justified.
As for Christie’s personal views, he stated that, “I've always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so I think if someone is born that way it's very difficult to say then that's a sin. But I understand that my church says that, but for me personally I don't look at someone who is homosexual as a sinner.”
New Jersey is now the second state to sign a ban on “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) for those under 18, even with parental consent, following California (surprise!), although the California bill has already been challenged in the courts.
On a practical level, this means that a 17-year-old girl who was raped at the age of 14 and now feels a repulsion towards men and an attraction towards women cannot seek professional help to get to the root of her feelings, even if her parents back her decision.
That same young woman, however, would be allowed to seek professional help to develop her lesbian identity, even without the backing of her parents.
This is equality under the law? This is tolerance? This is a victory in the war against bigotry and discrimination?
And if this same young woman lived in California and was convinced that she was actually a boy trapped in a girl’s body, she could now choose to use the boys’ bathroom and even play on the boys’ basketball team, without any scientific diagnosis required.
In fact, it would be perfectly legal for her to undergo hormone therapy to help make her more masculine, soon to be followed by sex-change surgery. Yet if she said, “For many reasons, I’m uncomfortable with my same-sex attractions,” it would be illegal for her to receive counseling. What kind of madness is this?
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.