Target: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Goal: Applaud the governor’s decision to ban gay conversion therapy in New Jersey for individuals under 18
Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie recently outlawed therapists from counseling lesbian and gay individuals to convert their sexual orientation. Christie’s decision makes New Jersey second only to California in banning the ‘conversion therapy’ touted by rightist Republicans. Christie’s belief that people are born gay chafes against the beliefs held by his party. His decision to defend his personal beliefs is commendable and must be lauded.
The state senate had approved of the proposed measure in June 2013 and sent it to Governor Christie, who is not only seeking reelection in November 2013 but is also considered one of the frontrunners for the Republican Party in the presidential race in 2016. Christie cited psychiatric and medical research that one’s sexual orientation was determined at birth rather than being a learned behavior. The law bans all counselors licensed by the state as well as social workers and therapists from using a type of talk therapy that aims to change one’s identity from gay to straight. This talk therapy greatly damages the identity and self esteem of gay and lesbian youths. Christie stated that he signed the measure into law because such efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation entails serious health risks that include suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, low self-esteem and depression. Although he asserted that he still is concerned that government sometimes overreaches by limiting parental choices on how to care for their own children, Christie nonetheless passed the ban because it is rooted in sound medical research.
Only California has passed such a ban on gay conversion therapy. However, it has not yet been enforced because of a current lawsuit that challenges its constitutionality. Opponents to the New Jersey law have vowed to wage a similar challenge in New Jersey because they believe it infringes on parents’ right to raise their children as they please.
Governor Christie’s decision should be commended for sending a message to the entire country that all individuals regardless of sexual orientation are accepted in U.S. society. Christie’s decision attests to the American creed that all citizens are treated equally under the law. Hopefully, other states emulate the governor of New Jersey in banning such a heinous form of treatment. Moreover, this ban may influence the push to ban such forms of abuse nationally. Please sign this petition to applaud Christie for his progressive actions.
Dear Governor Chris Christie,
We applaud you for your decision to sign into law a measure that will ban social workers and therapists licensed in New Jersey from practicing therapy on gay youths under the age of 18 that aims to convert their sexual orientation. Gay conversion therapy is abusive and poses detrimental and adverse health effects on individuals. Your decision sends a message to all U.S. citizens that they are accepted regardless of their sexual orientation.
New Jersey is only the second state in the country to impose such a ban. As a Republican, your progressive actions will no doubt stir up ire against you from your political party base. We applaud you for protecting the well-being of individuals in the gay community.
[Your Name Here]
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