TRENTON – A state lawmaker intends to introduce legislation that would prohibit minors from undergoing a controversial form of therapy that aims to change sexual orientation.
Assemblyman Timothy Eustace, (D-38), Paramus, announced Thursday his plans to introduce a bill that would ban the so-called conversion therapy aimed at reversing homosexuality. The legislation would prohibit children and teenagers from undergoing the therapy, Eustace said.
“Studies and personal testimony have shown this practice creates irreparable harm on young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality,” Eustace said in a statement.
“Forcing someone to deny their innate feelings and their very existence has led to depression, suicidal tendencies and other untold harm,” he said. “Leading psychological professionals agree that this practice has no place in legitimate mental health therapies.”
The legislation would mirror a bill recently passed by the California Legislature. California would be the first state to impose such a ban if the bill is signed into law by the state’s governor.
Eustace said his bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual persuasion or reduce or eliminate sexual romantic attractions, feelings, or behaviors because those attractions, feelings, or behavior are directed toward a person of a particular gender or both genders.
The legislation will be formally introduced when the Assembly returns Sept. 24, he said.