Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Jersey Joins California in Bannnig Anti-Gay Therapy

The L.A. Times reports:

A family who wants to send their 15-year-old son to counseling to curb his attraction to other males is suing New Jersey over the state's ban on so-called gay conversion therapies for minors.

More follows:

The court complaint details the teenager's history of expressing stereotypically feminine and homosexual behavior, which the family says led him to have suicidal thoughts starting around age 10. His "unwanted same-sex attraction" was confusing and conflicted with his Roman Catholic religious beliefs, the complaint said.
He tried to kill himself multiple times, the court documents say, and eventually asked to go to counseling for help.

After he began therapy to change his sexual orientation in 2011 in New York, the strength of his same-sex attractions dropped. On a scale of 1 to 10, the level of attraction dropped from an 8 to 3 and "every day would get a little better," according to court documents.

The part about the boy's conflict with Catholic beliefs was somewhat bewildering to me in light of Pope Francis's beautifully embracing comments about gays and in light of his welcoming correspondence with gay Catholic bishops.

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