Today New Jersey became the second U.S. state to ban gay conversion therapy programs for minors. Governor Chris Christie signed a piece of legislation today banning the controversial practice, according to KDVR.com.
It was reported in June that Bill A3371 passed through both chambers of the state legislature and onto the desk of Gov. Christie. The bill directly addresses “the protection of minors from attempts to change sexual orientation.”
Christie, a known opponent of the controversial therapy, acknowledged his concern with “government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children” but ultimately sided with the expert opinion of the American Psychological Association, which claims it can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse in teenagers, according to USA Today.
“I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate. Based upon this analysis, I sign this bill into law,” Christie said.
This is a victory for LGBT advocacy groups in New Jersey, but the bill does not indicate whether Gov. Christie is any closer to making a decision on pro-gay marriage legislation. Last year he vetoed a bill, saying he would prefer to put it up to a state-wide referendum.