Governor Chris Christie says he's "undecided" about whether to ban "conversion" therapy for underage gays. He also admitted he doesn't know much about the controversial "therapy".
Christie's opponent in the New Jersey Governor's race, Barbara Buono, said he should have denounced the practice instead of saying he needed to learn more about it.
To make an informed decision, every politician should be MORE like Governor Christie.
Firstly, the Governor admitted to not knowing. That is rare or nonexistent in politics.
Secondly, he gave a sensible explanation about why he feels the way he does. He explained that laws should not "restrict parents ability to make decisions on how to care for their children." Every parent in America should agree with that statement, shouldn't they? Obviously, there are laws that prevent parents from harming their children. The other side of this issue is whether this type of "therapy" is psychologically harmful to children.
The conversion therapy usually involves "praying the gay away" and is also based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be cured. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and anyone who believes otherwise probably has their own mental and social issues to deal with. But, for fun, assume that it is a mental illness. How many mental illnesses actually have a "cure"?
Chris Christie is not one to play politics. This is a delicate issue and there are many sides.
If parents are putting their kids in gay conversion therapy for religious reasons, is that okay? The United States does have Freedom of Religion; however, there are a lot of things in the Bible that are considered "abominations". Should there also be guilt therapy for abominations such as:
- A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. - Deuteronomy 22:5
- Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. - Proverbs 12:22
- Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good. - Proverbs 20:23
If parents are putting their kids in the therapy because they believe they are psychologically ill, is that still okay? Homosexuality is not a valid mental disorder. It was removed from the list in 1973.
If parents are putting their kids in therapy because they are embarrassed, angry, or for any other personal reason, it's probably not okay.
The Governor is an intelligent and reasonable person. The only reasonable defense to putting a child in this type of therapy is the religious one and that doesn't really hold water because prayer and church should "cure" the gayness in that case. Just because you gave birth to a child does not mean you can control their every thought and feeling, even when they are under 18.
Christie knows the right answer to this, but will he actually say it?
Image Source: AP Photo/Mel Evans