BY LILA SHAPIRO
Huffington Post Gay Voices
In California and New Jersey, lawmakers, gay-rights advocates, therapists, and religious organizations are fighting over the future of a controversial therapy that purports to “cure” gay people by making them straight. The debate is the latest iteration of a longstanding culture war over whether being gay is a choice, and groups on both sides said they expect the clash to soon expand to other states.
New Jersey and California lawmakers who support banning the therapy said laws would protect children from a practice that is both ineffective and harmful. Last weekend, California became the first state to prohibit licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation of patients under age 18. “This bill bans nonscientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” tweeted Gov. Jerry Brown (D) after signing the legislation. As soon as next week, New Jersey Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D) said he will introduce similar legislation. “This is about getting rid of child abuse,” Eustace asserted.
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