New Jersey bans gay conversion therapy | Reuters

(Reuters) – New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie on Monday signed into law a measure to prevent therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation, making his the second U.S. state to ban so-called conversion therapy.

The state senate approved the measure in June, putting it on the desk of Christie, who is seeking re-election this fall and also widely considered a White House contender for the Republican Party in 2016.

Citing medical and psychiatric research that sexual orientation is determined at birth, the law bans state-licensed counselors, therapists and social workers from practicing a method of talk therapy that opponents have said is deeply damaging to the self-esteem and identity of gay youths.

Christie said he was signing the legislation based on research that found “efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks, including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”

via New Jersey bans gay conversion therapy | Reuters.