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Gay conversion therapy: Now a NJ gov race issue. And it should be.

Just a few minutes ago, a Christie spokesman released a statement following a Philadelphia Inquirer story, that the governor "does not believe in conversion therapy," and that sexual orientation is determined at birth. It took him all day to come up with that. And he didn't pipe up until reporter Matt Katz wrote up opponent Barbara Buono's very clear opinion on "gay conversion" and the NJ bill that would ban it. Christie still won't say whether he will sign the gay conversion ban until he sees the bill in its final form.

Buono needed no mulling time, or to check what she should say with big-dollar funders. Yesterday:

This week, I heard powerful testimony from one teenager who said, "I am not broken, I am not confused, and I do not need to be fixed." I'm proud to cosponsor legislation in the Senate that would ban the practice of "conversion therapy" amongst homosexual youth. It's an egregious practice and quite honestly - child abuse.

Christie's position this week (till 4:40pm) was that he wasn't sure if he'd sign a bill to ban the practice of using 'therapies' to turn a gay child into a straight child. A friend put it better than I could: One candidate opposes this repugnant practice. One candidate claims to be unsure. So yes, this is now an issue.

Yesterday, Christie said he "didn't know much about" the practice. Buono, apparently better educated on at least this civil rights issue, said she "couldn't believe the stunning level of ignorance that that statement showed." And yeah, the info's pretty available, Governor. The American Psychological Association sure doesn't seem like a fan. Ditto World Health Organization. And homosexuality was removed from the DSM - 40 years ago. In fact, among the only people that still want to treat gay young people as damaged goods needing to be "fixed" are precisely the kind of self-professed religious folks who write checks to candidates like Christie. You can see his dilemma. Gov, start here: "I am not broken. I am not confused. I don't need to be fixed." Or here.

Gay young people describe it as "torture," "humiliating" and "cruel". So, let it be an issue for both candidates. And for all of us who take responsibility to respect and care for all our kids.

Steve Sweeney's comment, below the fold:
@NJSenatePres Steve Sweeney clearly didn't need as much time as the Governor did to understand this gross practice. He tweeted:

You either believe it's wrong to force kids into a so-called 'treatment' that causes indescribable & sometimes permanent harm, or you don't.

Clear.  

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