Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a moderate Republican, will sign a bill banning gay conversion therapy. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey and oft-mentioned Republican Presidential candidate for 2016, will sign a bill banning gay conversion therapy. Gay conversion therapy is the process of attempting to convert a gay teenager into being straight. New Jersey Assemblymember Tim Eustace, who is openly gay, called gay conversion therapy, "an insidious form of child abuse."
New Jersey becomes only the second state to make such a move, following the lead of California. In announcing that he will sign the bill, Christie played up his conservative principles:
"Government should tread carefully into this area," he said in the note, "and I do so here reluctantly."
Christie than cautiously outlined the basic reasons that gay conversion therapy is a terrible idea.
"However, I also believe that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards…I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate." According to the AP, Christie cited depression and suicide as known potential effects of gay conversion therapy.
Christie, who also stated that he believes people are born gay, and that homosexuality is not a sin, stands as the most prominent Republican moderate in U.S. politics today. He may represent the best chance of Republicans taking back the White House in 2016, but it will be fascinating to see if conservatives can stand to nominate someone who was willing, however “reluctantly,” to sign a pro-gay bill.