November 5, 2013 in Nation/World

Parents sue New Jersey over ban on gay conversion therapy

David Porter Associated Press
 

NEWARK, N.J. – New Jersey’s law banning so-called gay conversion therapy is facing another court challenge, this time from a couple who claim their constitutional rights are being violated because the law prevents them from seeking treatment for their 15-year-old son.

The suit filed in federal court in Camden on Friday is at least the second to attack the law. A separate suit that names two licensed therapists among its plaintiffs awaits a judge’s ruling, said Demetrios Stratis, an attorney involved in both cases.

The law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in August bars licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight. At the time he signed it, Christie said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice, though he added that government “should tread carefully into this area.”

Last year, California became the first state to pass a similar law, and a federal appeals court upheld it in August against a constitutional challenge.

The unidentified New Jersey couple claim in their suit that the law violates their rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

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