August 22, 2013
NJ Sponsor of Change Therapy Ban Threatens to Remove Children from Parents, Liberty Counsel Files Lawsuit (audio clip)
Trenton, NJ–Today, Liberty Counsel filed suit in federal court challenging the new law (A3371) that bans minors in New Jersey from receiving counseling to diminish, eliminate or manage same-sex sexual attractions, and threatens parents’ rights to even keep their children who are struggling with this issue.
“This law is a tyrannical overreach of government authority,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, “and every parent should be concerned. With this law, parents may face Child Protective Services investigating their home and even law enforcement taking their children if they seek change therapy,” Staver warned.
Yesterday, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the bill and is openly homosexual, told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, “What this does is prevent things that are harmful to people. If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis we would step in and remove that child from the house. If you pay somebody to beat your child or abuse your child, what’s the difference?” (audio clip). “It is shocking to hear the law’s sponsor threaten parents that the state will remove their children from them if they provide the counsel they need and which helps them. This is the ultimate nanny state,” said Staver.
The argument that change therapy is abusive is baseless. In fact, the American Psychological Association Task Force Report of 2009 acknowledged that there were reported benefits. “The very report that the governor cited for signing this law also admitted that there is absolutely zero research–none–regarding the effect of change therapy with minors. This is an area we are very familiar with because we have litigated this in California. We got an injunction against that law, the identical law that is now in New Jersey. We know the research. It really underscores Chris Christie’s arrogance. He speaks out like he is the only one who has a valid opinion. He is absolutely wrong.” (audio clip)
Dr. Nicholas Cummings, former president of the APA, wrote in USA Today in response to this New Jersey law: “Contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality. Attempting to characterize all sexual reorientation therapy as ‘unethical’ violates patient choice and gives an outside party a veto over patients’ goals for their own treatment. A political agenda shouldn’t prevent gays and lesbians who desire to change from making their own decisions.”
Liberty Counsel represents several licensed mental health counselors who provide such counseling and their clients and parents who are receiving and benefiting from such counseling; the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).
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