Assemblyman Has Introduced Legislation to Prohibit Sexual Orientation Conversion Counseling in State
(PARAMUS) — Assemblyman Timothy J. Eustace, D.C. (D-Bergen/Passaic) on Tuesday voiced his strong support of a lawsuit filed against a Jersey City-based conversion counseling organization that claims to be able to cure men of homosexual tendencies.
“The bravery and determination of the four men and their families seeking damages against a Jersey City-based conversion counseling group should be applauded. If what they allege in their complaint is true, then these young men most assuredly did not receive counseling. Instead, it would seem they were conned into paying to be tortured because of their sexual orientation.
“Numerous studies have shown that engaging in conversion ‘therapy’ can cause irreparable harm on the psyches of young men and women struggling to come to grips with their sexual identity. These same studies have also conclusively stated that a person’s sexual orientation — specifically homosexuality — is not a disease or an illness and should not be treated as such.
“Individuals claiming otherwise are modern-day equivalents of flim-flam artists and snake oil salesmen of the 1800’s. Those types of shysters were eventually run out of town on a rail. And if this case and legislation pending before the Assembly are successful, we may soon be able to say the same thing about New Jersey conversion ‘therapists.'”
Eustace is the prime sponsor of legislation in the Assembly (A-3371) that would prohibit the sexual orientation conversion of minors in New Jersey. The legislation cites the American Psychoanalytic Association’s June 2012 position statement that conversion counseling is “…against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result[s] in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.” It also cites a 2012 publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that states, “…there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness.”
The bill is currently awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Women and Children Committee.