A bill that would ban so-called "reparative therapy"- therapy intended to "convert" gay men and women to be heterosexual- is headed to the New Jersey Senate floor. The ban would apply to children under 18. It already passed in the state Senate's Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on a 7 to 1 vote in March.
The legislation emerges from a late 2012 lawsuit against the organization Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, which aims in part to assist gay Jewish men in obtaining so-called "reparative therapy." The four plaintiffs in the case cite being asked to perform humiliating exercises as part of therapy, for example exposing their genitals to a counselor. The lawsuit and the testimony of many other gay and transgender individuals suggests that such "reparative therapy" is harmful to psychological well-being. A former advocate of the practice, Dr. Robert Spitzer, reversed his position in May 2012. He issued an apology to the LGBT community and renounced such practices as "a waste of time and energy."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's position on this issue is unknown. According to the New York Times, Christie "does not believe in conversion therapy," but is also "hesitant to sign a bill that effectively tells parents what they can and can't do."
Media Resources: Sources: Asbury Park press 3/31/2013; Jezebel 3/31/2013; New York Times 3/22/2013; Jezebel 5/21/2012
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .