Agudath Israel of America condemned a New Jersey law prohibiting gay reparative therapy for minors as an infringement on religious freedom.

The statement from Agudah came just hours after Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill barring licensed therapists from providing treatment to help gay teenagers become straight.

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“The new law tramples on the rights of mental health therapists to engage freely in their profession, and it unfairly denies teenagers seeking therapy for issues that are troubling them the ability to obtain professional help,” the group said.

“Under the new law, therapists, social workers or counselors who work with minors on these issues risk losing their licenses to practice their professions, and minors who sincerely want to obtain professional help will have nowhere to turn. This is an unconscionable infringement on personal liberty and a trampling of personal rights, including religious and free speech rights.”

New Jersey joins California as the only states with laws barring so-called reparative therapy. The New Jersey bill passed both houses of the state Legislature in June with bipartisan support.

In signing the bill into law, Christie, a moderate Republican who is widely believed to be eyeing a presidential run in 2016, appended a note indicating his reluctance to intrude on parents’ ability to determine the right treatment for their children.

“However, I also believe that on issues of medical treatment for children, we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” Christie wrote. “The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”

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21 COMMENTS

  1. And in the morning they thank god for not having made them a woman – based on the belief that while your are sleeping, another spirit can take over your body and cause you gender confusion.

  2. The lapses/omissions in SOCE work (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) when it comes to professional ethics are typically glaring.If this business were any other sort of quasi-medical/psych treatment, the practitioners would be investigated for fraud by the FDA or any number of professional bodies or by any number of state attorneys general.
    Informed consent procedures require: 1) an accurate statement of the most likely positive outcomes, 2) most likely negative outcomes, and/or 3) risks (best estimate probabilities, or archived follow up data) of either A) negative outcomes or B) no outcomes.I don’t know any SOCE practitioner who observes these guidelines at all, let alone carefully, step by step.     drdanfee

  3. That’s rich, considering the ‘tea party’ and reich wing extremist and fascist fundamentalists have taken control of the Republican party such that there’s no sense of reason or rationale thought in the GOP – it’s run by preachers and radio or Faux News shock jocks.

  4. What, pray tell, is “the homosexual agenda”? this kind of crap usually comes from fundamentalist ‘christians in name only’ so I wonder what your fairy tale idea of it is. Is equality an “agenda”? Not being treated as second-class citizens an “agenda”? How about this one: not forcing religion disguised as pseudo-science on children or other minors – all because of the parents’ misinformation and misguided indoctrination? If, as an adult, a person wants to subject themselves to “conversion therapy”, that’s his or her decision. To force a minor to do so is child abuse.

  5. That's rich, considering the 'tea party' and reich wing extremist and fascist fundamentalists have taken control of the Republican party such that there's no sense of reason or rationale thought in the GOP – it's run by preachers and radio or Faux News shock jocks.

  6. That's rich, considering the 'tea party' and reich wing extremist and fascist fundamentalists have taken control of the Republican party such that there's no sense of reason or rationale thought in the GOP – it's run by preachers and radio or Faux News shock jocks.

  7. What, pray tell, is "the homosexual agenda"? this kind of crap usually comes from fundamentalist 'christians in name only' so I wonder what your fairy tale idea of it is. Is equality an "agenda"? Not being treated as second-class citizens an "agenda"? How about this one: not forcing religion disguised as pseudo-science on children or other minors – all because of the parents' misinformation and misguided indoctrination? If, as an adult, a person wants to subject themselves to "conversion therapy", that's his or her decision. To force a minor to do so is child abuse.

  8. What, pray tell, is "the homosexual agenda"? this kind of crap usually comes from fundamentalist 'christians in name only' so I wonder what your fairy tale idea of it is. Is equality an "agenda"? Not being treated as second-class citizens an "agenda"? How about this one: not forcing religion disguised as pseudo-science on children or other minors – all because of the parents' misinformation and misguided indoctrination? If, as an adult, a person wants to subject themselves to "conversion therapy", that's his or her decision. To force a minor to do so is child abuse.

  9. As if they don’t know about their own bisexual and homosexual feelings. Who are they kidding? This is what sociopaths look like and when a group of them form a collective bond.

  10. As if they don't know about their own bisexual and homosexual feelings. Who are they kidding? This is what sociopaths look like and when a group of them form a collective bond.

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