New Jersey has just enacted a ban on therapy for minors intended to help them switch from same-sex attraction to heterosexual attraction. The law “bars any licensed therapists, psychologists, social workers or counselors from using therapies to change sexual orientation of children under age 18. Offenders jeopardize their licensed status under the new law, which does not apply to clergy or anyone who is not licensed by the state.”
Liberty Counsel, a Christian counselors group has filed suit saying that the law does not respect the rights of clients to make decisions. The law would, in effect, also prevent parents from seeking help in New Jersey for their children from counselors licensed there.
New Jersey is the second state in the nation to ban “gay-to-straight” therapy. California enacted the first ban, but it has been under injunction until recently when a federal judge in the state ruled in favor of the state and reinstated the ban.
The New Jersey lawsuit says the law “will prohibit New Jersey Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists from respecting the rights of clients to make the decisions because the state has already made the decision for every client that may seek counseling from a licensed professional on the issue of sexual orientation.” Therapists are “hopelessly conflicted” between following the law and upholding its professional code of conduct, the lawsuit said. It also “interferes with a therapist’s First Amendment rights to free speech, as well as a family’s right to informed consent about all of the therapeutic options available to help minors “reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors or identity.”
LGBT groups say the practice is dangerous and causes mental problems for those that undergo therapy. “Garden State Equality, a civil rights organization that lobbied for the passage of the therapy ban, vowed today to help defend the law.” They unsurprisingly vowed to defend the law claiming that so-called “conversion therapy” is discredited and devastating.”
Proponents of the therapy say that minors who do not want to act on same-sex attractions “are greatly benefiting from this counseling.”
Meanwhile, a federal appeals court sided with California to uphold the first law in the nation banning same-sex conversion therapy for minors. Three judges unanimously found the state law legal.
One judge even said that “parents’ judgment might be clouded by the emotionally charged issue” in support of the law. The judges also claimed that the therapy is “dangerous” and “outside the scientific mainstream.”
Similar to the New Jersey law, pastors and lay counselors who are unlicensed in California who provides such therapy through church programs are not covered by the law. The next step is the Supreme Court.
“Liberty and other backers of the therapy argue that lawmakers have no conclusive, scientific proof that the therapy does harm.”
Perhaps the day has come when certain Christian views and practices are being considered to be out of the mainstream by laws such as these. Eventually those who uphold God’s Sabbath law will be considered to be out of the mainstream and harmful and will be banned too. Perhaps they will also be considered to have “clouded judgment.”
LGBT groups are pushing legislation that especially effects Christian parents and therapists and limits their ability to pursue options to get help. They also use extreme language to denigrate parents and their efforts to help their children with attraction challenges.
Turning America into a modern Sodom is the goal, and it is rapidly moving forward fulfilling Jesus’ words that sodomy would be a feature of the end-times.